Relative Effects of Interventions Supporting the Social Competence of Young Children with Disabilities

Samuel L. Odom, Scott R. Mcconnell, Mary A. Mcevoy, Carla Peterson, Michaelene Ostrosky, Lynette K. Chandler, Richard J. Spicuzza, Annette Skellenger, Michelle Creighton, Paddy C. Favazza

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This study compared the effects of different intervention approaches designed to promote peer-related social competence of young children with disabilities. Preschool-age children with disabilities who were enrolled in classes in Tennessee and Minnesota participated in four intervention conditions (environmental arrangements, child specific, peer mediated, and comprehensive) and a control (no intervention) condition. A performance-based assessment of social competence, which consisted of observational, teacher rating, and peer rating measures, was collected before and after the interventions and again the following school year. Analyses revealed that the peer-mediated condition had the greatest and most sustained effect on children's participation in social interaction and on the quality of interaction, with the child-specific condition also having a strong effect. The environmental arrangements condition had the strongest effect on peer ratings. These findings indicate that there are effective intervention approaches available for children who have needs related to social competence and that different types of interventions may be useful for addressing different goals (e.g., social skills or social acceptance) of individual children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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