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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Increasing Social Interaction among Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities and Their General Education Peers: Effective Interventions

Carter, E. W., & Hughes, C. (2005).
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 30(4), 179-193

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible No

Description: This is a review of empirical investigations on the “the efficacy of interventions directed at increasing social interaction among adolescents with intellectual disabilities and their general education peers in secondary schools” (p. 180). Studies in which the majority of participants were identified as having autism or other disabilities without intellectual disability were excluded. This review includes some adolescents with autism spectrum disorders; however, the relative number of individuals with autism in the review is unclear.

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Individuals with intellectual disabilities receiving special education services in the secondary school system.

Intervention/Assessment: Skill-based interventions focused on increasing social interaction with peers, and support-based interventions focused on structuring school environment to support peer interactions

Number of Studies Included: 26

Years Included: 1975 - 2004



  • Treatment
    • Cognition
      • Peer Mediated/Implemented & Pragmatic/Social Skills
        • Skill-based and support-based interventions were effective to increase peer interaction across participants with a range of intellectual disabilities; however, differential effects were noted for several types of interventions by severity.
        • Communication book instruction, social interaction skill instruction, and peer support arrangements were most effective for participants with severe intellectual disabilities, whereas general education participation and the assignment of roles to general education peers was most effective for participants with moderate disabilities (p. 186).

Keywords: Intellectual Disabilities, Social Skills

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Added to Compendium: January 2012

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