Play behaviors of handicapped preschool children in the presence and absence of nonhandicapped peers

Tiffany Field, Scott Roseman, Louis De Stefano, John H. Koewler

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21 Scopus citations


Sixteen minimally handicapped children and 18 nonhandicapped children were observed playing as separate classes and as a combined group on their preschool playground. Play behaviors directed toward self, toys, teachers, and peers were recorded using a time sampling procedure. Repeated measures analyses revealed that: (1) handicapped children engaged in less peer-directed and more teacher-directed behaviors than the similar chronological age but developmentally more advanced normal children; (2) a comparison between a subsample of normal and handicapped children who were approximately equivalent on developmental age suggested that the normal children only vocalized more often; (3) when integrated with the normal children, handicapped children engaged in more peer-directed and less teacher-directed behaviors than when playing in the non-integrated situation; (4) during the combined group play situation, normal children directed more behaviors to their own classmates while handicapped children directed approximately equal amounts of behavior to their own classmates and to their normal peers. These results suggest that the normal children were not negatively affected and the handicapped children were positively affected by the integrated play situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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