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Peer Problems of Children with Hemiplegia in Mainstream Primary Schools

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 1998

Carole Yude
Institute of Psychiatry, London, U.K.
Robert Goodman
Institute of Psychiatry, London, U.K.
Helen McConachie
Institute of Child Health, London, U.K.
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A representative sample of 55 mainstreamed 9–10-year-olds with hemiplegia were compared with all classmates on sociometric measures of popularity and friendship, and with 55 matched controls on measures of victimisation. Children with hemiplegia were more rejected and less popular, had fewer friends, and were more often victimised; they were not more likely to be bullies themselves. These differences were not fully accounted for by group differences in teacher-estimated IQ and behaviour. Possible explanations range from neurologically determined deficits in mentalising skills to peer prejudices about children with disabilities. The development of appropriate intervention strategies should be a high priority, particularly since peer problems not only result in current distress but also predict psychosocial problems in the future.

Research Article
© 1998 Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry

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