Peer-effects research finds that preschool children’s language growth is associated with classmates’ skills and that children with disabilities especially benefit from classmates with higher skills. The current study estimates the amount of peer language resources individual children access through their classroom-based peer social interactions, which represents an aggregation of peers’ language skills weighted by teacher-perceived interaction intensities between dyads. Participants were 448 children (57% boys, 40% with disabilities, Mage = 52.29 months) from 58 inclusive preschool classrooms. Results showed a significant variation of peer language resources within classrooms and indicated that children with disabilities had significantly fewer peer language resources, although peer language resources showed a stronger association with their language growth than that of typically developing children. (author abstract)
Exploring the mechanism through which peer effects operate in preschool classrooms to influence language growth
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