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Interaction with peers is an important contributor to young children’s social and cognitive development. Yet, little is known about the nature of social networks within preschool inclusive classrooms. The current study applied a social network analysis to characterize children’s peer interactions in inclusive classrooms and their relations with children’s disability status. The participants were 485 preschoolers from 64 early childhood special education (ECSE) inclusive classrooms. Results from teachers’ report of children’s social networks showed that children with disabilities formed smaller play networks compared to their typically developing peers in the classroom, but no evidence indicated that children with disabilities engaged in more conflict networks than their counterparts. Children’s play and conflict networks were segregated by children’s disability status.
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- The Social Networks of Children With and Without Disabilities in Early Childhood Special Education Classrooms
- Springer US