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Quality of Reciprocated Friendships of Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Seventh Grade

Bossaert, G., Colpin, H., Pijl, S. J. & Petry, K., 2015, In : Exceptionality. 23, 1, p. 54-72 19 p.

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DOI

This study focuses on companionship, intimacy, and support of reciprocated friendships of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), students with motor and/or sensory disabilities, and typically developing students with their classmates at the start of mainstream secondary school. The study included 1379 typically developing students, 65 students with ASD, and 50 students with motor and/or sensory disabilities of 100 different classes in 56 schools. Sociometric techniques were used. No differences were found between companionship and support of the reciprocated friendships of the three groups. Students with ASD did report significantly less intimacy in their friendships than typically developing students did. The number of friends was not related to companionship or intimacy, but was positively associated with support of the students' reciprocated friendships. Furthermore, perceptions of shared friendship quality did not differ among students with ASD, students with motor and/or sensory disabilities, and their typically developing friends. Future research is needed to tap into the predictors and consequences of reciprocated friendships of students with special education needs in mainstream classes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-72
Number of pages19
JournalExceptionality
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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