Program

Jun 07, 2013

OVERVIEW

S.S.GRIN is a social skills program that is designed to help children who have peer relationship difficulties learn basic social and cognitive skills. The goals are to enhance the quality of their social relationships, their confidence in dealing with social situations, and their social behavior. S.S.GRIN emphasizes the cognitive aspects of relationships and emotions, instead of focusing solely on social behaviors. An experimental evaluation found positive impacts at post-test on peer liking, self-esteem, self-efficacy, social anxiety, and antisocial affiliates, and it found positive impacts at one-year follow-up on peer liking, peer disliking, peer-rated aggression, peer-rated victimization, self-esteem, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, social anxiety, depression, rejection, social withdrawal, leadership, and self-reported victimization.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Elementary school children with significant peer relationship difficulties

S.S.GRIN is a highly structured program to build children’s social skills and relationships with peers. Prosocial skills of communication (verbal and nonverbal), initiation, cooperation, compromise, and negotiation are included in the sessions; and skills to reduce negative behaviors and for coping with peer pressure and teasing are taught. Both cognitive and behavioral methods are used to teach and practice each skill. Didactic instruction combined with active practice is also included in each session. The weekly sessions are 50-60 minutes for eight weeks. The groups, consisting of six children each, are administered by the school’s counselor and an intern, who are trained and supervised by the study’s first author. Positive reinforcement, corrective feedback, and cognitive reframing are the teaching methods. Each session’s content builds on that of previous sessions. 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

Study 1

DeRosier, M.E. (2004). Building relationships and combating bullying: Effectiveness of a school-based social skills group intervention. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 196-201.

Evaluated population: A total of 415 third-grade students from eleven public elementary schools in the Wake County (NC) Public School System who  had peer relationship difficulties (high peer dislike, bullied by peers, or high social anxiety) participated in the study. The sample was 26 percent African American, 69 percent white, and 5 percent other racial minority.

Approach: Eighteen participating children from each school were randomly assigned to the intervention, while the rest were assigned to the control group. Data were collected at baseline and post-test on peer reports of liking, disliking, aggression, and victimization, and self-reports of self-esteem, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, social anxiety, depression, peer rejection, bullying, antisocial affiliates, victimization, social withdrawal, and leadership.

Results: There was a positive impact of the intervention on peer liking (effect size=.23), self-esteem (effect size=.21), self-efficacy (effect size=.21), social anxiety (effect size=.21), and antisocial affiliates (effect size=.22). There was no impact on the other outcomes. Subgroup analyses found no differences in impact between boys and girls or based on reason for inclusion (peer dislike, social anxiety, or victimization).

Study 2

DeRosier, M.E. & Marcus, S.R. (2005). Building friendships and combating bullying: Effectiveness of S.S.GRIN at one-year follow-up. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 140-150.

Evaluated population: This is a follow-up to Study 1 and uses the same sample.

Approach: See Study 1 for randomization procedures. Data were collected at baseline and one year following the last group session on the same measures as in Study 1, with the addition of self-rated social anxiety with new peers. A total of 274 children remained in the sample at follow-up. The high level of attrition was due to redistricting of schools.

Results: In the one-year follow-up, significant impacts were found for peer-rated liking (effect size=.07), peer-reported disliking (effect size=.20), peer-reported aggression (effect size=.26), peer-reported victimization (effect size=.05), self-esteem (effect size=.37), self-efficacy (effect size=.16), outcome expectancy (effect size=.24), general social anxiety (effect size=.29), social anxiety with new peers (effect size=.44), depression (effect size=.22), rejection (effect size=.09), social withdrawal (effect size=.08), leadership (effect size=.23), and self-rated victimization (effect size=.10). There were no impacts at the one-year follow-up on self-reported bullying and antisocial affiliation.

Gender was a moderator in the treatment condition. For peer-reported liking, there was a positive impact for females only. For peer-reported aggression, there was a positive impact for both females and males, but more for males. For peer-reported victimization, there was a positive impact for females only. For self-reported self-efficacy, there was a positive impact for females only. For self-reported social withdrawal, there was a positive impact for females only.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact information

Melissa E. DeRosier

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

Cary, NC  27513

derosier@3cisd.com

References

DeRosier, M.E. (2004). Building relationships and combating bullying: Effectiveness of a school-based social skills group intervention. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 196-201.

DeRosier, M.E. & Marcus, S.R. (2005). Building friendships and combating bullying: Effectiveness of S.S.GRIN at one-year follow-up. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 140-150.

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

KEYWORDS: Children, Elementary, Males and Females, High-Risk, School-based, Manual, Cost, Skills Training, Anxiety Disorders/Symptoms, Depression/Mood Disorders, Other Social/Emotional Health, Other Relationships, Aggression, Bullying

Program information last updated 6/7/13.