Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Frank J. Floyd - Chair

Second Advisor

Christopher Henrich

Third Advisor

Diana Robins


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the impact of disability status on age-related changes in social-information processing skills including children’s attributions of peer intent and response generation to hypothetical social scenarios may. SIP skills were evaluated using an adaptation of the Social Problem Solving Interview. One-hundred and seventeen children aged 7-13 years-old provided 1 to 4 sets of interview data, collected annually. The groups included 28 children with mental retardation, 56 with a specific learning disability, and 33 comparison children. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that both groups of children with disabilities demonstrated less cognitive flexibility than comparison children in their attributions about peers. Regarding response strategies, children with mental retardation generated fewer social strategies overall and offered more retaliatory strategies than comparison children. With increasing age, children with learning disabilities increased their use of avoidant strategies and decreased their proportion of retaliatory strategies compared to children without disability.


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Psychology Commons