Social Perceptions of Students with Learning Disabilities Who Differ in Social Status

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As a group, students with learning disabilities (LD) have social difficulties. One possible explanation for these difficulties is the unique way they process social information. Although students with LD may differ from their nondisabled peers in their social cognition, investigators have suggested the presence of subgroups within the population of students with LD who may differ in their social competence and, thereby, shed light on the source of the difficulties. The present exploratory study examined how two subgroups of students with LD in inclusive settings, students with high and low social status, perceive social situations. Using a sociometric technique, three students with LD receiving high social‐status ratings and three students with LD receiving low social‐status ratings were identified. A qualitative approach was used to gather and evaluate data from the participants and their teachers. Results suggested differences between the two subgroups in their (1) sensitivity to cues in the environment, (2) interpretation of social situations in relation to their own experiences, and (3) levels of self‐control. Implications of these findings for practice and future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-82
JournalLearning Disabilities Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2004


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