A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Placement on Academic and Social Skill Outcome Measures of Students with Disabilities

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This study involved an investigation of differences between outcome measures of students with disabilities placed in more integrated settings with those of students placed in less integrated settings. A meta-analysis was conducted using the findings from 24 studies published in peer-reviewed journals from 1980 through 2013. Results from the analyses suggest that there were significant differences (p < 0.0001) between placement settings with the majority of students with disabilities in more integrated settings outperforming those in less integrated settings on both academic and social outcome measures. Overall these findings, combined with those from two prior meta-analytic studies, provide evidence spanning over 80 years suggesting separate settings are not as beneficial as are more integrated settings. Implications related to practice and policy, as well as avenues for future study, are discussed.


Meta-analysis; Inclusion; Integration; Placement; Least restrictive environment; Achievement; Outcomes; Social skills; Social interaction

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