Participation of children with disabilities in school: A realist systematic review of psychosocial and environmental factors
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Maciver D, Rutherford M, Arakelyan S, Kramer JM, Richmond J, Todorova L, et al. (2019) Participation of children with disabilities in school: A realist systematic review of psychosocial and environmental factors. PLoS ONE 14(1): e0210511.
SponsorshipFunding for this work was received from the Salvesen Mindroom Centre for Learning Difficulties.
In order to make informed decisions about how best to support children and young people with disabilities, effective strategies that facilitate active and meaningful participation in school are required. Clinical factors, diagnosis or impairments somewhat helpful in determining what should be provided in interventions. However, clinical factors alone will not offer a clear view of how to support participation. It is helpful then to look at wider psychosocial and environmental factors. The aim of this review was to synthesise evidence of psychosocial and environmental factors associated with school participation of 4–12 year old children with disabilities to inform the development of participation-fostering interventions We identified 1828 papers in the initial search. Seventy two papers were included in the final synthesis. Synthesis of findings led to three overarching mechanisms representing psychosocial factors for children (1) identity (2) competence and (3) experience of mind and body. Environmental aspects (context) compromised five interrelated areas: (1) structures and organization, (2) peers, (3) adults, (4) space and (5) objects. Our synthesis provides insights on how professionals may organize efforts to improve children’s participation. Consideration of these findings will help to proactively deal with suboptimal participation outcomes. Development of theoretically determined assessments and interventions for management of school participation are now required.