Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Elizabeth Nowicki

Second Advisor

Dr. Perry Klein

Third Advisor

Paul Hertz


Kindergarten children’s play interactions and attitudes toward children with special needs were examined. Observations of 25 children with and without special needs in the classroom and one-on-one interview sessions of 19 typically developing children provided data for this study. Results of the play observations showed that typically developing children interacted significantly less with peers with special needs and peers in inclusive groups as opposed to typically developing peers. An examination of the play patterns of children with and without special needs revealed similarities and differences between both groups’ type of participation, type of play, quality of play and type of adult- guided interactions. Results from the attitude scale illustrated that typically developing children had less accepting views toward children with special needs than toward children without special needs. Correlations between children’s attitudes and their play interactions with children with special needs approached significance. Recommendations for future research are suggested.



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