University Of Tasmania

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Effect of nonretarded versus retarded peer models on retarded children's cooperative play

posted on 2023-05-27, 05:24 authored by O'Callaghan, Gemma
An experimental examination was made of the comparative effectiveness of retarded or nonretarded peer models to increase the cooperative play of retarded child subjects. The sample (n = 16) were all residents of a hostel for retarded children in Tasmania. Matched for sex, chronological age, IQ and ratings of unsociable behaviour, they were exposed by videotape to pairs of trained cooperating peers of their own choice - whether retarded or nonretarded. It was hypothesised that there would be a significant difference in observational learning between the 2 groups. Treatment spanned 3 sessions over 4 weeks. Improvement was calculated as the difference in cooperative interaction between pre-test and final post-test sessions. Videotaped behaviours of subjects in all sessions were measured by 2 trained raters, functioning at a X reliability level of .93. A well-defined multivariate coding system used 4 behaviour categories - verbal, nonverbal, sharing and responding. Results generally indicated that while both groups benefitted from the modelling treatment, those subjects viewing nonretarded models were more influenced than those viewing retarded models. The behaviour category which most reflected this difference was the nonverbal one. Nonretarded models were observed to be consistently more Influential than retarded models for most subject groups - males and females, older and younger subjects, subjects of both higher and lower IQ, subjects in groups rated \more unsociable\" as well as \"less unsociable\". Effects attributed to differences between models persisted when adjustment for IQ was made. When individual performances were examined descriptively It was found that 7 Ss. responded consistently well to training a further 7 responded well but less consistently; 2 showed the previously-reported phenomenon of \"counter-imitation\". The value of using structured observational learning procedures to improve retardates' social interaction was demonstrated although it seems clear that not all are receptive to this type of training. Reasons for individuals' rejection of modelled behaviour and possible modes of intervention should be targets for further research. Implications for caregivers of retarded children were discussed. The experiment would seem to support the growing recognition of the value of desegregation to retardates. More contact with nonretarded peers might be seen as a powerful facilitator of social play for the institutionalised retarded child."


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Copyright 1977 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M. Psych.) - University of Tasmania, 1977. Bibliography: l. 98-120

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