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Title:The Relationship Between Social Competence and Achievement in Learning Disabled and Nonhandicapped Children
Author(s):Bursuck, William D.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Special
Abstract:A significant correlation between academic achievement and peer popularity has long been established in the educational literature. Nonetheless, the role of achievement in mediating social differences between learning disabled children and their nondisabled peers, and differences between high- and low-sociometric status nonhandicapped children, remains unclear. The goal of this research was to clarify the contribution of academic achievement to social behavior and levels of social acceptance in learning disabled and nonhandicapped children.
In Study 1, learning disabled third- and fourth-grade boys were compared to nonhandicapped boys in terms of their sociometric status, social knowledge, and social behavior as rated by teachers. The boys were matched on race, classroom, and standardized reading achievement test performance. No significant differences between these two groups were found. This seems to indicate that achievement, not handicap per se, may be responsible for the frequently reported social difficulties of learning disabled children.
In Study 2, low-achieving third- and fourth-grade boys of low sociometric status were compared to average- and above-achieving boys also of low sociometric status, and to average- and above-achieving boys of high sociometric status. The measures in this study were social knowledge and social behavior as rated by teachers. The results indicated that with achievement controlled, differences between high- and low-status children were nonsignificant. However, it was also found that children who were low in both achievement and sociometric status were significantly lower in social competence as rated by their teachers.
The data from both of these studies suggests that academic achievement mediates differences in children's social behavior and sociometric status. Researchers interested in investigating the social relations of handicapped and nonhandicapped children in school are advised to take into account the influence of achievement.
Issue Date:1982
Description:194 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8218441
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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