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Observations of social competence of children in need of special support based on traditional disability categories versus a functional approach
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
2010 (English)In: Early Child Development and Care, ISSN 0300-4430, E-ISSN 1476-8275, Vol. 180, no 9, p. 1129-1142Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Traditional disability categories may reveal little of the functional characteristics and social competence of a child. Objective: To compare the social competence of typically developing children, children with established disabilities and undiagnosed children identified by a functional approach to be in need of special support. Methods: Observations were conducted during free play using the Child Observation in Preschools, COP. Results: The variables positive emotion, social emotional warmth, teacher rated engagement and verbal to other children significantly discriminated the three groups. In a discriminant analysis based on group membership only 68% of all cases were correctly classified. Conclusions: Difficulties in classifying undiagnosed children in need of special support and children with established disabilities leads to the question of the fruitfulness of using traditional categories when assessing social competence. Instead a functional approach sensitive to the individual profile of each child is recommended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 180, no 9, p. 1129-1142
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-15394DOI: 10.1080/03004430902830297OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-15394DiVA, id: diva2:413143
Available from: 2011-04-27 Created: 2011-04-27 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically 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: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Lillvist, Anne

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