Program

May 15, 2012

OVERVIEW

S.S.GRIN-A is a social skills program designed to help adolescents who have peer relationship difficulties learn basic social and cognitive skills. It is based on the original S.S.GRIN, a social skills training intervention for children ages 6-12. The goals of S.S.GRIN-A are to learn and practice key social skills, enhance self-concept and promote positive interests, and to develop positive character traits. S.S.GRIN-A emphasizes cognitive aspects of relationships and emotions. Adolescents aged 13-14 were randomly assigned to receive SS GRIN-A or to a waitlist control group. Those in the treatment group demonstrated significant improvements in global self-concept and social self-efficacy, and a significant decrease in internalizing behavior, in comparison with adolescents in the control group. No impacts were found for externalizing (acting out) behavior.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Adolescents with significant peer relationship difficulties

S.S. GRIN-A modifies S.S.GRIN to be developmentally appropriate for adolescents. The 12-week intervention provides adolescents with strategies for handling social situations. S.S. GRIN-A is designed to address the needs of three sets of youth with social skills problems: (1) youth with immature social skills relative to other youth of the same age; (2) youth with few, if any, close friends and/or who experience rejection and teasing by their peers; and (3) youth who are socially withdrawn or isolated from their peers. The intervention includes three sections and each session includes didactic instruction combined with active practice.

S.S.GRIN-A is a 12-week highly structured program with detailed session scripts and activities that aims to promote self-esteem and respect, personal responsibility, emotional awareness, and positive relationships. Didactic instruction combined with active practice is employed in each session. There is also parent involvement in the sessions. Parents attend the introductory session (session 1), taking action session (session 5), positive relationships session (session 10), and the saying goodbye session (session 12). The groups are administered by two group leaders, who are trained and supervised by the study’s first author. Positive reinforcement, corrective feedback, and cognitive reframing are the teaching methods that are used. Each session’s content builds on that of previous sessions and each group is led by two trained professionals. All group leaders have a minimum of a master’s degree in a health services field, in addition to direct field experience administering group interventions with youth and adolescents.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Harrell, A.W., Mercer, S.H., & DeRosier, M.E. (2009). Improving the social-behavioral adjustment of adolescents: The effectiveness of a social skills group intervention. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18, 378-387.

Evaluated Population: Seventy-four adolescents (ages 13-16 years) who were referred for social relationship difficulties participated in the study. Parents of adolescents in the treatment group were also invited to participate in the study. The sample was 79 percent white, 13.5percent African American, 1.4 percent Hispanic, 2.7 percent Asian, and 1.4 percent Hawaiian.

Approach: Seventy-four adolescents and their parents were randomly assigned to either the treatment group (N=40) or a wait-list control group (N=34). The program was comprised of three sessions, and each session included didactic instruction combined with active practice (e.g., role playing, modeling, hands-on activities). Adolescents in the treatment and control groups were compared on global self-concept, social self-efficacy, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems, pre- and post-intervention (all measures self-reported). Youth behavior across multiple areas was assessed through parent report.

Results: Youth in the treatment group were found to demonstrate significant improvements in global self-concept and social self-efficacy, and a significant decrease in internalizing behavior, in comparison with youth in the control group. The effect sizes for most observed differences due to treatment were in the medium to large range (.50 to .80). No statistically significant difference was found by the treatment group for externalizing behavior.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact information

Amanda W. Harrell, Sterett H. Mercer, and Melissa E. DeRosier

3-C Institute for Social Development, 1903 North Harrison Avenue, Suite 101

Cary, NC 27513

derosier@3cisd.com

References:

Harrell, A.W., Mercer, S.H., & DeRosier, M.E. (2009). Improving the social-behavioral adjustment of adolescents: The effectiveness of a social skills group intervention. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18, 378-387.

For more information or to purchase a manual, please visit: http://www.selmediainc.com/ssgrin/a

KEYWORDS: Adolescents, Youth, Males and Females, Skills Training, Social Skills/Life Skills, Self-Esteem/Self-Concept, Other Mental Health, Cost, Manual, Parent of Family Component

Program information last updated 5/15/12.