04 SES 13 A, Students with SEN at High Risk: The Link between Social Participation and Psychosocial Outcomes
Research shows that students with special educational needs (SEN) in inclusive settings are at high risk of having troubles with their peer relationships, indicated by having fewer friendships, being less socially accepted, having less interactions with peers and feeling less socially integrated compared to their non-disabled peers (see e.g. Bossaert, Colpin, Pijl, & Petry, 2013; Schwab, 2015). In previous research, much attention was given to students’ peer-relationships, but student-teacher–relationships were less focused upon (e.g. Spilt, van Lier, Leflot, Onghena, & Colpin, 2014). Problems with social relationships in schools are of high importance because they have an impact on students´ mental health development. Several studies indicated that poor peer and teacher-relationships were associated with high levels of depressive symptoms in students (Zetterström Dahlqvist, Landstedt, & Gillander Gådin, 2012; Gooren, van Lier, Stegge, Terwogt, & Koot, 2011). The present study focused on the association between social relationships of students with and without special educational needs and the development of depressive symptoms. A sample of 436 students from 8th grade was recruited from 25 secondary schools in Austria, of which 8.7% were diagnosed as having SEN. The screening version of the depression questionnaire DTK II (Rossmann, 2014) and the subscales "social integration" and "perceived appreciation by the teacher" from the FEESS 3-4 (Rauer & Schuck, 2003) were used for assessment. Results of a stepwise regression analysis show that 21% of the scores in the depression questionnaire could be explained by gender and relationships to peers and teachers. Peer-relationships was the strongest predictor, followed by gender and perceived quality of teacher-relationships while SEN did not contribute significantly to the prediction. These results are discussed in the context of studies on the etiology of depressive symptoms in adolescents.
Bossaert, G., Colpin, H., Pijl, S. J., & Petry, K. (2013). Truly included? A literature study focusing on the social dimension of inclusion in education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17, 60-79. Gooren, E. M. J. C., van Lier, P. A. C., Stegge, H., Terwogt, M. M., & Koot, H. M. (2011). The development of conduct problems and depressive symptoms in early elementary school children: The role of peer rejection. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 40, 245-253. Rauer, W. & Schuck, K. D. (2003). FEESS 3-4. Fragebogen zur Erfassung emotionaler und sozialer Schulerfahrungen. Göttingen: Beltz. Rossmann, P. (2014). Depressionstest für Kinder – DTK II. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber. Schwab, S. (2015). Social dimensions of inclusion in education of 4th and 7th grade pupils in inclusive and regular classes: outcomes from Austria. Research in Developmental Disabilities. Spilt, J. L., van Lier, P. A. C., Leflot, G., Onghena, P., & Colpin, H. (2014). Children's Social Self-Concept and Internalizing Problems: The Influence of Peers and Teachers. Child Development, 85(3), 1248-1256. Zetterström Dahlqvist, H., Landstedt, E. & Gillander Gådin, K. (2012). Depressive symptoms and the associations with individual, psychosocial, and structural determinants in Swedish adolescents. Health, 4(10), 881-889.
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