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Am J Ment Retard. 1997 Jan;101(4):339-51.

Comparison of socially accepted and rejected children with mental retardation.

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University of Massachusetts Boston, USA.


The influence of social behavior and social cognitive skills on social status of children with mental retardation was investigated by comparing socially accepted and socially rejected children. A sociometric survey conducted with 764 children in 34 regular education classrooms identified 20 socially accepted and 20 socially rejected students with mental retardation. Accepted children displayed a higher level of social behavior and a lower level of sensitive-isolated behavior. The two groups also differed in their social cognitive skills. In response to social problems, accepted children chose friendly-submissive goals and generated a low rate of positive outgoing strategies, whereas rejected children chose friendly-assertive goals and generated a high rate of positive outgoing strategies. Findings point to the value of examining differences between children with mental retardation who are accepted and rejected in inclusive settings and underscore the importance of social behavior and social cognitive skills in the acceptance-rejection process.

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