The effects of amount and type of teacher-child interaction on child-child interaction during free-play

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Social interactions between preschool behaviorally handicapped children were measured under three experimental conditions during free-play: (a) active teacher involvement in free-play, (b) no teacher involvement in free-play, and (c) teacher structured free-play. Significantly more child-child interactions occurred during teacher structured free-play than in either of the other two conditions, with the no teacher involvement condition producing significantly more child-child interactions when compared to the active teacher involvement condition. Additionally, significantly more teacher-child interactions occurred during the active teacher involvement condition than in either of the other two conditions, with nonsignificant differences in teacher-child interaction between the no teacher involvement and the teacher structured conditions. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for ameliorating social interaction deficits among young behaviorally handicapped children.