04 SES 08 B, Social Participation
Students with special educational needs (SEN) often experience difficulties in their social participation when they are included in regular education. It is regarded that attitudes of typically developing students towards peers with SEN play a role in this. However, empirical evidence for this hypothesis is lacking. This study focused on the relationship between attitudes of typically developing students towards peers with SEN and their peer acceptance in regular class. In a cross-sectional study, sociometric data was gathered together with attitudes of typically developing students towards peers with SEN (n= 985) (Mage= 10.0, SD= 1.0). This study particularly focused on students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (AD/HD) or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (n= 31AD/HD and n= 34ASD). The findings of the logistic multilevel regression analysis showed different outcomes for peer acceptance of boys and girls with SEN. We found a significant relationship between the attitudes of boys’ peer group and their acceptance of a same-sex peer with SEN. Girls´ individual attitudes significantly relate to their acceptance of a same-sex peer with SEN. The implications of the findings are discussed in the light of possible interventions to improve peer acceptance of students with SEN in regular primary education.
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