Essay: Social acceptance and affiliation

Sample Essay – Social acceptance 

Social acceptance and affiliation are important dynamics in the identity of one’s self and the identity of one’s friends.  Friendships are vital in a child’s development.  Research on typically developing children found that children who lack friends could suffer from emotional and mental difficulties later in life (Fabes & Martin, 2001).   Friendships help children develop emotionally and morally.

Children learn to communicate, cooperate, and problem-solve when interacting with friends.  They practice self-regulatory behaviors such as controlling their emotions and responding to the emotions of their peers, as well as developing their ability to think through and negotiate different situations that arise in their relationships (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).

The poor social acceptance of students with disabilities has often been viewed as a result of social skills deficits.  However, although students with disabilities often have low acceptance levels, most have some friends or close associates.

Research has shown that students who affiliate support and complement each other’s behaviors by reciprocating each others’ interactional styles, using each other as behavioral models and rewarding or encouraging others’ behaviors and values. However, because students with autism often exhibit deficient social skills, little is known about their actual peer affiliations in the inclusive classroom.

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