Program

Oct 23, 2006

OVERVIEW

The Social Skills Training Program was given to children
aged 10-13 with social problems. It seeks to give these children the
skills to improve everyday social interactions and decrease problem behavior
with peers. The program addresses a different area of social functioning
at each session using interactive activities such as group discussion, modeling,
role plays, and direct instruction. The study below finds that the Social
Skills Training Program was effective in increasing self-esteem ratings and
social activity levels of isolated and/or rejected children.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: School-aged children
ages 10-13 who are either socially isolated or rejected by their peers

This
program seeks to increase socially isolated or rejected students’ positive
interactions through development of their social skills. The program sessions
occur twice weekly for 4 weeks. In addition to these initially program
sessions, children also participate in a series of 4 post-treatment booster
sessions approximately one month after the conclusion of the program.
Sessions are highly structured and during each session children discuss
homework from the last session, are taught about a new theme, rehearse an
example situation of this theme, and receive a summary of the session as well
as homework assignments to be completed before the next session. Topics
for each session focus on social development and include: bullying, responding
to criticism, asking for help, making friends, and giving complements.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Verduyn,
C. M., Lord, W., & Forrest, G. C. (1990). Social skills training in
schools: An evaluation study. Journal of Adolescence, 13, 3-16.

Evaluated population: 34 children who were
rated as having antisocial behaviors by teachers and were identified as
isolated or rejected by peer-ratings. Children ranged in age from 10-13
years.

Approach: Children were rated by teachers and peers to determine which children
lacked positive social skills. The children were then randomly assigned
to the Social Skills Training condition or a control condition which received
no intervention. Treatment groups received a total of 8 Social Skills
Training group sessions over 4 weeks. Parents and teachers gave ratings
of the child’s social behavior. Self-report measures were taken from the
children to assess knowledge about social situations and responses as well as a
self-esteem inventory. Over the course of a week, post-treatment, both
groups of children kept a journal of social activities to assess the number of
social peer group activities the child had.

Results: It should be noted that there were pre-treatment differences found between
the treatment and control group such that the treatment group had more problem
behaviors than the control group. Reflecting this, no impact differences
were found post-treatment.

However,
children in the treatment group exhibited less problem behaviors post-treatment
as compared to before the treatment. This effect was also found at the
follow up assessment at 6 months. Children ages 10 and 11 in the Social
Skills Training treatment were found to have higher self-rated self-esteem
ratings (M=63.5, SD=19.1) compared with children in the control group (M=59.5,
SD=17.5). Treatment group children were found to be more socially active
(M=5.4, SD=2.6) compared with the control treatment (M=3.0, SD=2.5) as measured
by the weekly diary of activities self-report.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Verduyn,
C. M., Lord, W., & Forrest, G. C. (1990). Social skills training in
schools: An evaluation study. Journal of Adolescence, 13, 3-16.

KEYWORDS: Middle Childhood (6-11), Adolescence
(12-17), Children, School-Based, Life Skills Training, Skills Training,
Behavioral Problems, Social/Emotional Health, Peer Rejection, Self Esteem,
Antisocial Behavior.

Program
information last updated 10/23/06