Do you want to be friends? Physical Disability and Friendships

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This small-scale study aims to explore the views of non-disabled 6-8 year-old children in Cyprus towards children with physical disability from the angle of
friendships. Friends and being part of a peer group are central to living a full life and feeling good (Borland, 1998). Nordstrom (2011) explains how friendships between typically developing individuals and peers with an impairment, are regularly formed on the basis of respect and consideration, more than the basis of treating everybody as equal without discrimination (Odom and Diamond, 1998). Although within the 21st century children with impairments are more likely to be included into social groups, they are not necessarily considered as playmates, as frequently as typically developing children (Nowicki and Sandieson, 2002). Participants were interviewed individually in a child-friendly, game-like process designed for this study involving simple tasks and questions with the use of pictures and feelings cards. Informed consents were obtained by children's parents and the children who were made aware about the project, the voluntary participation and their right to withdraw any time. All data collected were anonymised and kept confidential (EECERA,2014) In this paper, the theoretical framework of the study as well as the methods, tools, the design of the process, the analysis of data and the main findings will be discussed. In order to encourage children's sensitivity and understanding towards social inclusion for their peers with an impairment, there is a need for children to have better and more insightful understanding of
social exclusion and acceptance (Killen and Smetana, 2010).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Sep 2017
Event27th EECERA Conference, Bologna, Italy: Early Childhood Education Beyond the Crisis: Social Justice, Solidarity and Children’s Rights - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 30 Aug 20171 Sep 2017


Conference27th EECERA Conference, Bologna, Italy
Internet address


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