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"Special Support" in preschools in Sweden: preschool staff's definition of the construct
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2547-1100
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2010 (English)In: International journal of disability, development and education, ISSN 1034-912X, E-ISSN 1465-346X, Vol. 57, no 1, p. 43-57Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the definitions of the construct oyoung children in need of special supporto given by preschool staff in Sweden in 540 preschool units. The study has a mixed-methods design based on qualitative analysis of an open-ended question and quantitative analysis of questionnaire responses. The results reveal two general perspectives in definitions of the construct, a child perspective and an organisational perspective. Units with a child perspective had a higher proportion of children in need of special support, especially girls. The study highlights that the term ochildren in need of special supporto is partially socially constructed and is partially based on perceived child characteristics. The perceptions of what is considered to be a child in need of special support held by staff in a unit may impact on the services provided to children in need of special support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 57, no 1, p. 43-57
Keywords [en]
child perspective, preschool, organisational perspective, young children in need of special support
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-15392DOI: 10.1080/10349120903537830ISI: 000274552700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-15392DiVA, id: diva2:413140
Available from: 2011-04-27 Created: 2011-04-27 Last updated: 2019-06-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The applicability of a functional approach to social competence in preschool children in need of special support
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The applicability of a functional approach to social competence in preschool children in need of special support
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis, with four empirical studies, was to test the applicability of a functional approach in investigating social competence of children in need of special support within the preschool context. The main theoretical framework was systems theory. Study I and II investigated preschool teachers’ definitions of children in need of special support and social competence respectively. Study III was a prevalence study investigating the number of children in need of special support based on traditional disability categories and functional difficulties. In study IV the social competence of children perceived to be in need of special support based on traditional categories and functional difficulties was compared using an observational method. The results in study I showed that teachers adopt either a child perspective or an organizational perspective in defining children in need of special support. The child perspective was related to a greater number of children in need of special support in the preschools, indicating that in preschools with several children in need of special support, teachers are more prone on seeing the needs of individual children, as opposed to the needs of the organisation. Study II found that teachers define social competence in young children in terms of intrapersonal skills, or as interpersonal relations. Study III found that the majority of children in need of special support are undiagnosed children with functional difficulties related to speech- and language and peer interaction. Study IV found similar profiles of social competence between diagnosed children and undiagnosed children perceived to be in need of special support. Overall, the results yielded support for adopting a functional approach in studying the social competence of children in need of special support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2010. p. 92
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 18
Keywords
Children in need of special support, disability, functional approach, preschool, systems theory
National Category
Psychology Social Sciences Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-9014 (URN)978-91-7668-710-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-29, Omega, Mälardalens högskola, Högskoleplan 1, Västerås, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Pedagogisk verksamhet för små barn i behov av särskilt stöd i förskolan- generellt och specifikt, PEGS
Available from: 2010-01-05 Created: 2010-01-05 Last updated: 2019-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Lillvist, Anne

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