Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Jack S. Damico


This study is an ethnographic investigation of the initial integration of a group of disabled and nondisabled two-year-old children. The group was comprised of a class of seven disabled children from a school parish and a class of nine nondisabled children from a university child development center in this same parish. This study incorporated ethnographic data collection and analysis procedures. Data collection procedures included participant observation, ethnographic interviews, artifactual analysis, and videorecording. The results of this study suggest that a process of stigmatization occurred in this integration program. The process of stigmatization and factors perhaps accounting for the process are detailed and described. One major factor contributing to the process of stigmatization was a lack of planning and preparation for this integration program. Because of this lack of planning and preparation, society's natural tendency to separate and stigmatize individuals with difference or disability was transmitted to the children in this integrated setting through their interactions with the adults in the program. This study suggests a number of implications for more successful integration.