Study finds poor social and communication skills linked to peer rejection, bullying

by Sharita Forrest  /   Oct 31, 2013

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OCTOBER 30, 2013, ILLINOIS NEWS BUREAU, CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sharita Forrest – Poor social and communication skills heighten risks of peer rejection and bullying involvement for students with disabilities, according to a new study co-authored by Dorothy Espelage, professor of Child Development, and university alumni Chad A. Rose and Anjali Forber-Pratt.

Prior research suggested that students with disabilities in general were at an elevated risk of bullying involvement. However, new research finds that certain characteristics broadly associated with disabilities, specifically deficits in social skills and communication skills, elevate the risk of bully involvement. Identifying the individual characteristics that may serve as risk factors can help develop effective interventions to reduce victimization, increase monitoring, and provide support to students that need it.

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