Competency, importance, and social support, of learning disabled chidren in an inclusion program: a test of a model
The purpose of this study was to examine the mediational role of social support, in1portance, and competency on global self-worth for a group of learning disabled (LO) children who participated in an inclusion program. Inclusion programs are one method of educating ill children. These LD children spend the entire- school day, including all academic classes, in a regular classroom. Special education teachers assist these children within this regular classroom setting. In the current study, 24 children from the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades completed four questionnaires. Their perceived competency and importance scores were used to derive a discrepancy score. It was hypothesized that social support and discrepancy scores would correlate with global self-worth. Social support was found to correlate significantly with global self-worth, but discrepancy scores did not. In addition, competency in the areas of general intellectual ability, behavioral conduct, and physical appearance were found to correlate with global self-worth. It was also hypothesized that these children would spontaneously compare themselves to other children in their regular classroom rather than other handicapped children. A majority of the children in this sample acted in accordance with this hypothesis. This comparison also resulted in a positive effect on their feelings of competency. Finally, it was hypothesized that classmate support rather than parental, teacher, or friend support would correlate highest with global self-worth. This hypothesis was not supported.
The parent subscale of the social support measure correlated highest with global self-worth. The relevance of these findings to children's feelings of self-worth and the inclusion program are discussed.