Amelie LabschMonja SchmittLena NusserMarianne Schüpbach

Is There an Association Between Attending an Inclusive Educational Setting and the Self-Esteem of Students Without Special Educational Needs?


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Comparisons in social interactions are central to the individual self-esteem. The extent to which heterogeneous reference groups in terms of social and ethnic, but also physical, mental and cognitive characteristics and prerequisites, as they can be found in classes of the general education system not only since the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, determine self-esteem, is still insufficiently answered. Qualitative studies have so far shown that students without special educational needs (SEN) gain self-esteem promoting experiences as soon as they attend inclusive environments. However, quantitative ones indicate a negative association between inclusive learning environment and individual self-esteem. Up to now, mainly either characteristics of the environment or of the individual have been used as predictors. Data of the National Educational Panel Study are used to examine whether there is an association between attending an inclusive class in regular schools and the self-esteem of students without SEN under control of individual and contextual characteristics. Multilevel analyses show, that in general and in terms of an increasingly inclusive class composition students without SEN report lower self-esteem than peers attending classes without students with SEN do. This association no longer exists as soon as course of education and socioeconomic class composition are controlled.

self-esteem, inclusion, special educational needs, class composition