Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Elizabeth Nowicki


While inclusive education has become common practice, adolescents with learning difficulties still tend to be socially excluded by their peers. Whether sibling birth order affects the way adolescents include students with learning difficulties is a limited area of research. By conducting semi-structured interviews with high school students, the present study aimed to explore beliefs about how peers with learning difficulties may be socially included, examining accounts from oldest, youngest and middle siblings. Through content analysis, 4 main themes were identified: (a) academic interventions, (b) group events and activities, (c) student-driven initiatives, and (d) creating awareness (about learning difficulties). Chi square analyses revealed a significant association between birth order and all themes. Findings of this study will inform social inclusion initiatives among educators and contribute to a novel area of birth order research.