The influence of temperament and social skills on quality of friendship in students with and without learning disabilities

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy J. Rose (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Alan Kamhi

Abstract: Many students with learning disabilities have difficulty establishing and maintaining high quality friendships (Bauminger, Edelsztein & Morash, 2005; Bryan, Wong & Donahue, 2002; Kavale & Forness, 1996). Many factors influence quality of friendship, including language and cognitive abilities, social skills, personality, and temperament. The present study examined the influence of social skills, temperament, and language skills on the quality of friendships in adolescents with and without learning disabilities. Participants were 30 sixth, seventh and eighth grade middle school students; 16 were typically developing, and 14 had a diagnosis of a specific learning disability. Students completed self-report questionnaires for friendship, social skills, and temperament. Students also responded to questions for six social skill scenarios that involved helping, access, and forgiveness behaviors. No strong relationships were found between friendship quality and measures of social skills, temperament and language skills. The best predictors of friendship quality were attention and empathy, but these accounted for less than 30% of the variance. As expected, the TD group had significantly higher mean scores for friendship quality, language skills, inhibitory control, and affiliation. There were no significant group differences for social skills. The findings confirm the significant challenges with friendship quality experienced by adolescents with learning disabilities. Future studies should continue to investigate the influence of temperament, language, and social skills on friendship quality.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Adolescence, Friendship, Learning Disabilities, Social Skills, Temperament
Social interaction in adolescence
Social skills in adolescence
Interpersonal relations in adolescence
Friendship in adolescence
Learning disabled teenagers $x Social conditions

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