Title page for ETD etd-10062011-171748


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Fourie, Christina Margaret
Email christam.badenhorst@gmail.com
URN etd-10062011-171748
Document Title The nature of friendship amongst adolescents with learning impairment in a specialised school
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr M Moletsane Supervisor
Keywords
  • social skills
  • social identity theory
  • adolescence
  • learner impairment
  • friendship
  • social comparison
  • self-concept
  • school for learners with learning impairments
  • inclusive education
  • peer group
Date 2011-09-05
Availability unrestricted
Abstract

Friendship and peer acceptance is an important facet of any adolescent’s development. Adolescence is recognised as a period of discovering and forming one’s identity. When an adolescent has a learning impairment, it impacts on all facets of his/her life, including socially (friendships). While needing to deal with the challenges of a learning impairment as well as to functioning socially, the adolescent needs to cope with these challenges as well as form an identity. In a similar vein, when the adolescent is faced with the challenges of a learning impairment, limited cognitive and language difficulties may impact on friendship relationships. Working in a school that caters specifically for learners with learning impairments, I started wondering: what role does their individual learning impairments play in the maintenance of friendship?

The purpose of this study was to gain insight and understanding into the nature of friendship amongst adolescents who have been identified as having a specific learning impairment. This study took place within a specialised high school setting where the focus is to provide support to the learner with specific learning needs.

This study utilised an interpretive, qualitative research approach. This study aimed to interpret and understand what is the nature of friendship for adolescents with a specific learning impairment. The study also aimed to understand how social issues such as social comparison and self-concept is understood from the participants’ point of view and finally, to understand if the school environment within which they function play any role in the nature of friendships and how does the adolescent participant interpret this role. The research design was an instrumental case study. Data was collected from two participants by means of a one-on-one semi-structured interview and observations supported by field notes. The data collected was transcribed. The data was interpreted using a colour code for each theme identified. The findings reported indicate that the participants’ view of the self is influenced by their friends. Support and understanding in their friendships was possible as a result of trust, acceptance and understanding of how it is to be facing the challenge of learning impairments on a daily basis. The learners have found a place in the school were they can flourish both academically and socially. Socially, the challenges of learning impairments still play a role during interactions with friends. Social comparison based on physical appearance was highlighted. Self-concepts have been influenced by their learning impairment. Within the specialised school system, improved self-concepts were reported due to better academic performance and unconditional acceptance by friends and peers, despite having a learning impairment.

AFRIKAANS : Vriendskap en portuur groep aanvaarding is ‘n belangrike aspek van enige adolesent se ontwikkeling. Adolesensie word erken as ‘n tydperk van ondekking en die vorming van ‘n identiteit. Wanneer ‘n adolesent ‘n leergeremdheid beleef, het dit ‘n invloed op alle fasette van hulle lewens, insluitend sosiaal (vriendskappe). Terwyl die adolesent die uitdagings van ‘n leergeremdheid moet hanteer asook sosiaal funksioneer, moet die adolesent terselftertyd die uitdaging hanteer om ‘n identiteit te vorm. Wanneer die adolesent die uitdagings van ‘n leergeremdheid hanteer, het beperkte kognitiewe en taal uitdagings ook ‘n invloed op vriendskappe. Terwyl ek by ‘n skool werk wat voorsien vir leerders met leergeremdhede het ek begin wonder: watter rol speel individuele leergeremdhede in die handhawing van vriendskappe.

Die doel van die studie was om insig te verkry in die aard van vriendskap tussen adolosente wat identifiseer is as leerders met ‘n leergeremdheid. Die studie het plaas gevind in ‘n gespesialiseerde hoërskool waar die fokus val om ondersteuning te bied aan leerders met leergeremdhede. Die studie was ‘n interpretiewe, kwalitatiewe navorsings studie. Die doel van die studie was om die aard van vriendskappe tussen adolesente met leergeremdhede, te verstaan. ‘n Verdere doel van die studie was om vas te stel hoe word sosiale vergelyking en self-konsep verstaan word deur die deelnemers en laastens om vas te stel of die skoolomgewing waarin die kinders funksioneer, enige rol speel in die aard van vriendskappe. Laastens is gekyk na hoe word die rol verstaan deur die adolesente.

Die navorsingsontwerp was ‘n instrumentele gevalle studie. Data was versamel vanaf twee deelnemers deur middel van een-tot-een semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude en waarnemings wat deur veldnotas ondersteun was. Die data wat versamel was is getranskribeer. Die data was interpreteer deur ‘n kleur kode wat gekoppel is aan elke tema.

Die bevindinge dui aan dat die deelnemers se siening van die self beinvloed word deur hulle vriende. Ondersteuning en begrip in hulle vriendskappe is moontlik as gevolg van vertroue, aanvaarding en begrip van hoe dit voel om die uitdagings van ‘n leergeremdheid daagliks te hanteer. Die leerders het ‘n plek in die skool gevind waar hulle beide akademies en sosiaal kan floreer. Op ‘n sosiale vlak speel die uitdagings van ‘n leergeremdheid steeds ‘n rol in hulle vriendskappe. Sosiale vergelyking kom voor gebasseer op fisiese voorkoms. Self-konsepte word deur leergeremdhede beinvloed. In die gespesialiseerde skool word beter self-konsepte gerapporteer weens beter akademiese prestasie en onvoorwaardelike aanvaarding deur vriende en lede van die portuur groep, teen spyte daarvan om ‘n leergeremdheid te hê.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Fourie, CM 2010, The nature of friendship amongst adolescents with learning impairment in a specialised school, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10062011-171748/ >

F11/9/31/gm

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