Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Malecki, Christine K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Children with disabilities--Education--Attitudes; Social networks--Psychological aspects


Social support and academic engagement are effective in promoting the resilience and school completion of many at-risk student groups. For students with disabilities, a paucity of research in these areas leaves the influence of and relationships between these factors less clear. The current study used data gathered from a Midwestern elementary district to examine students' perceptions of social support and academic engagement and how those variables may be related to the disability severity of students receiving special education. Additional analyses were conducted to examine potential differences between the general education and special education groups within the sample. Although no moderating effect of social support was found in the relationship between disability severity and academic engagement, other differences between boys and girls receiving special education were found. Implications for interventions with students with disabilities and future directions for research are discussed.


Advisors: Christine K. Malecki.||Committee members: Michelle K. Demaray; Vinita Menon; Julia Ogg; Kelly H. Summers; David A. Walker.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vi, 167 pages




Northern Illinois University

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