Abstract – Michael J. Guralnick

Preschool Inclusion and Children’s Peer Relationships

Michael J. Guralnic

Children’s peer relationships and friendships serve important developmental functions, influencing cognitive, communicative, emotion regulation, and prosocial domains of development. In this presentation, I examine the characteristics of children’s peer-related social competence, the role of experiences in inclusive preschool programs in relation to interactions with peers, and the implementation of comprehensive interventions to enhance core features of children’s social play with peers for preschool age children with developmental delays and disabilities. A systems approach within a larger societal perspective is emphasized and utilized as a framework for future work.