Promoting friendship development in inclusive early childhood classrooms: A literature review

Keywords: Preschool, Friendship, Inclusive classrooms, Disabilities or developmental delays

Abstract

The purpose of this literature review was to describe research findings related to how teachers could support friendships in inclusive early childhood classrooms, with particular interests in friendship development for young children with disabilities. This literature review was conducted to examine the following two questions: (a) How are friendships between young children with and without disabilities defined and measured? and (b) What teaching strategies and intervention programs does research recommend to promote friendships between young children with and without disabilities? The following criteria were used to determine the inclusion of articles: studies included teachers, were conducted in inclusive early childhood classrooms in the United States, had measures for friendships, and were published in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 to 2018. A total of eight studies were identified. The results of this review demonstrated that across all studies there were several common characteristics (e.g. mutual liking, spending time together) in defining young children’s friendships. The studies reviewed also included various methods (e.g., surveys, interviews, observations) to measure friendships and suggested effective strategies and intervention programs that teachers could use to support friendship development. However, results also showed that teachers did not readily use the evidence-based practices. Based on the results, implications for future research and practices are discussed.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Arda, T. B., & Ocak, Ş. (2012). Social competence and promoting alternative thinking strategies PATHS preschool curriculum. Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, 12(4), 2691–2698.

Barton, E. E., & Smith, B. J. (2015). Advancing high-quality preschool inclusion: A discussion and recommendations for the field. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(2), 69-78.

Brown, M., & Bergen, D. (2002). Play and social interaction of children with disabilities at learning/activity centers in an inclusive preschool. Journal of Re-search in Childhood Education, 17(1), 26–37.

Brown, W.H., Favazza, P. C., & Odom, S.L. (1995). Code for Active Student Participation and Engagement – Revised (CASPER-II): A training manual for ob-servers. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University, Early Childhood Research In-stitute on Inclusion.

Brown, W. H., Odom, S. L., & Conroy, M. A. (2001). An intervention hierarchy for promoting young children’s peer inter-actions in natural environments. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 21(3), 162–175.

Buysse, V. (1991). Early Childhood Friend-ship Survey. Unpublished instrument, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Developmental Center, Chapel Hill.

Buysse, V. (1993). Friendship of preschoolers with disabilities in community-based childcare settings. Journal of Early Intervention, 17(4), 380–395.

Buysse, V., Goldman, B. D., & Skinner, M. L. (2002). Setting effects on friendship formation among young children with and without disabilities. Exceptional Children, 68(4), 503–517.

Buysse, V., Goldman, B. D., & Skinner, M. L. (2003). Friendship formation in inclusive early childhood classrooms: What is the teacher’s role? Early Child-hood Research Quarterly, 18, 485–501.

Chang, Y., Shi, W., & Kasari, C. (2016). Friendships in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder: What holds them back, child characteristics or teacher behavior. Autism, 20(1), 65-70.

DEC/NAEYC. (2009). Early childhood inclusion: A joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Chap-el Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.

Denham, S. A. (2006). The emotional basis of learning and development in early childhood education. In B. Spodek & O. N. Saracho (Eds.), Handbook of Re-search on the Education of Young Children (2nd ed., pp. 85–99). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Denham, S., Ferrier, D., Howarth, G., Hern-don, K., & Bassett, H. (2016). Key considerations in assessing young children’s emotional competence. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46(3), 299-317.

Dietrich, S. L. (2005). A look at friendships between preschool-aged children with and without disabilities in two inclusive classrooms. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 3(2), 1932–15.

Division for Early Childhood. (2014). DEC recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education. Retrieved from http://www.decsped.org/recommendedpractices

Domitrovich, C. E., Durlak, J. A., Staley, K. C., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Social-emotional competence: An essential factor for promoting positive adjustment and reducing risk in school children. Child Development, 88(2), 408–416.

Early, D.M., Maxwell, K.L., Burchinal, M., Bender, R.H. Ebanks, C., Henry, G.T.,…Zil, N. (2007). Teacher’s education, classroom quality, and young children’s academic skills: Results from seven studies of preschool pro-grams. Child Development, 78(2), 558-580.

Ferreira, M., Aguiar, C., Correia, N., Fialho, M., & Pimentel, J. S. (2017). Social experiences of children with disabilities in inclusive portuguese preschool set-tings. Journal of Early Intervention, 39(1), 33–50.

Frea, W., Craig-Unkefer, L., Odom, S. L., & Johnson, D. (1999). Differential effects of structure social integration and group friendship activities for promoting social interaction with peers. Journal of Early Intervention, 22(3), 230–242.

Goldman, B.D., Buysse, V., & Carr, L. (1997). Playmates and Friends Questionnaire for Teachers. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.

Han, H. S., & Kemple, K. M. (2006). Components of social competence and strategies of support: Considering what to teach and how. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(3), 241–246.

Herndon, K. J., Bailey, C. S., Shewark, E. A., Denham, S. A., & Bassett, H. H. (2013). Preschoolers’ emotion expression and regulation: Relations with school adjustment. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 174(6), 642-663.

Hollingsworth, H. L., & Buysse, V. (2009). Establishing friendships in early child-hood inclusive settings: What roles do parents and teachers play? Journal of Early Intervention, 31(4), 287–307.

Ladd, G.W. Herald, S.L. & Andrews, R.K. (2006). Young children’s peer relations and social competence. In B. Spodek & O. N. Saracho (Eds.), Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children (2nd ed., pp. 23–54). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Meyer, L. E., & Ostrosky, M. M. (2014). Measuring the friendships of young children with disabilities. Topics in Ear-ly Childhood Special Education, 34(3), 186–96.

Mundy, P., Sigman, M., & Ungerer J. (1986). Defining the social deficits of autism. The contribution of nonverbal communication measures. Journal of Psychology and Psychiatry, 27, 657-669.

Nugent, J. K., Petrauskas, B. J., & Brazle-ton, T. B. (Eds.). (2009). The newborn as a person: Enabling healthy infant development world wide. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Odom, S. L., & S. R. McConnell. (1991, August). Comparison for interventions for promoting peer social competence of young children with disabilities. Pa-per presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, San Francisco, CA.

Odom, S. L., Zercher, C., Li, S., Marquart, J. M., Sandall, S., & Brown, W. H. (2006). Social acceptance and rejection of preschool children with disabilities: A mixed-method analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(4), 807–823.

Pickens, J. (2009). Socio-emotional pro-gram promotes positive behavior in preschoolers. Child Care in Practice, 15(4), 261–278.

Profilet, S. M., & Ladd, G. W. (1994). Do Mother’s perceptions and concerns about preschoolers’ peer competence predict their practices? Social Development, 3, 205-221.

Richardson, P., & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). Making friends in preschool: Friend-ship patterns of young children with disabilities. In B. Kryzwosz-Rynkiew & A. Ross (Eds.), European issues on children’s identity and citizenship 4: Social learning, inclusiveness and exclusiveness in Europe. Stoke on Trent, UK: Trentham Books.

Sazak Pinar, E., & Sucuoglu, B. (2013). The outcomes of social skills teaching programs for inclusive classroom teachers. Educational sciences: Theory and practice, 13(4), 2247-2261.

Shippen, M., Crites, S., & Houchins, D. (2005). Preservice teachers’ perceptions of including students with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 28(2), 92-99.

Stanton-Chapman, T., & Brown, T. (2015). A strategy to increase social interactions of 3-year old children with disabilities in an inclusive classroom. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(1), 4-14.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser-vices & U.S. Department of Education. (2015). Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/earlylearning/joint-statement-full-text.pdf

Weissberg, R. P., Goren, P., Domitrovich, C., & Dusenbury, L. (2012). Effective Social and Emotional Learning Pro-grams: Preschool and Elementary School Edition. Retrieved from https://casel.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/01/2013-caselguide.pdf

Yang, C.-H., & Rusli, E. (2012). Teacher training in using effective strategies for preschool children with disabilities in inclusive classrooms, 9(1), 53-64.

Published
2019-12-31
How to Cite
Walden Krone, M., & Yu, S. (2019). Promoting friendship development in inclusive early childhood classrooms: A literature review. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 11(2), 183-193. https://doi.org/10.20489/intjecse.670477