The impact of same and separate classroom placements on the social adjustment of identical and non-identical same-sex twins at school entry

Assignment type: Thesis
Author: Katy Goymour
Submitted: June 2017


Educators, parents and researchers continue to deliberate whether twins should be educated in the same classroom or placed in different classrooms when they start school (Alexander 2012; Segal & Russel, 1992). The twin relationship is one of the most intimate of interpersonal bonds (DiLalla & Mullineaux, 2008; Woodward 1998), more so than other sibling‐relationships and is thus considered in the context of attachment theory (Tancredy & Fraley, 2006). Yet the nature of the twin bond serves as argument both for and against placing twins in the same classroom. At present, it appears that decisions regarding classroom placement are primarily based on viewpoints, rather than any evidence‐base. A systematic review of the literature exploring the impact of classroom placement on behavioural and academic outcomes in young twins has highlighted inconsistent findings. However, no research to date has considered the importance of the twin relationship and the focus of empirical studies has been on behavioural and academic outcomes. No study has yet explored the associations between classroom placement, the quality of the twin relationship and the development of their social competence at school. This empirical paper therefore examines the impact of classroom placement on twins’ social adjustment at school, taking into account the quality of their relationship prior to school entry. Results showed that there were no significant associations between these variables, although there was some evidence that the quality of twin relationship varied as a function of zygosity. However, conclusions were interpreted with significant caution due to the very small sample and lack of statistical power. Implications for future research, educational practitioners and parents are also considered.

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