References Day, S. (1989) 'Some Children Die - How Does Jersey Care?

', unpublished seminar report, Acorns Children's Hospice Trust, Birmingham . Fullen, M. (1982) The Meaning of Educational Change . New York: Teachers' College Press. Georgiades, N .J. and Phillimore, L. (1975) 'The Myth of the Hero-Innovator and Alternative Strategies for Organizational Change', in C.C. Kiernan and F.P. Woodford (eds) Behaviour Modircation with the Severely Retarded. New York: Associated Scientific Publishers . Grady, J . (1986)'Special Educational Needs in the 11-16 Schools', unpublished paper, States ofJersey Education Committee . Katz, D . and Kahn, R.L. (1966) The Social Psychology of Organisations . New York: Wiley . Robson, C. et al. (1988) In-service Training and Special Educational Needs: Running Short, School Focused Courses . Manchester: Manchester University Press. Waterman, R.H., Peters, T.J. and Phillips, J .R. (1980) 'Structure is not Organisation', Business Horizons 3.

School Psychology International (1991), Vol . 12

Social Skills Assessment and Intervention with Children and Adolescents
Guidelines for Assessment and Training Procedures STEPHEN N . ELLIOTT and R.T. BUSSE University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


Children who persistently exhibit social skills deficits experience both short- and long-term negative consequences, and these negative consequences may often be precursors of more severe problems later in life. If untreated, researchers have indicated that social skills deficits in early childhood are relatively stable over time, related to poor academic performance and may be predictive of social adjustment problems and serious psychopathology in adolescence . Procedures for linking assessment and classification of social skills problems to treatments are briefly reviewed. A number of procedures have been identified as effective methods for treating social skills deficits . The myriad of procedures can be classified into three categories: (1) operant conditioning, (2) social learning, and (3) cognitivebehavioral procedures. In practice, behavioral rehearsal is often incorporated into treatments and most of the effective social skills interventions are combined procedures rather than a single technique. Guidelines for implementing major treatment components are discussed and an overall implementation plan is presented .

Behaviors such as sharing, helping, initiating relationships, requesting -help from others, giving compliments and saying 'please' and 'thank you' are socially desirable behaviors that almost everyone This article represents the content of an invited three-hour workshop presented at the 13th International School Psychology Colloquium held in Newport, Rhode Island in July 1990. Portions of this workshop contained materials from the Social Skills Rating System Technical Manual (Gresham and Elliott, 1990) and from a chapter entitled 'Best Practices in Preschool Social Skills Training' by Elliott and Ershler (1990) . Please address all correspondence regarding this manuscript to Stephen N. Elliott, Department of Educational Psychology, 1025 W. Johnson St, University of WisconsinMadison, Madison, WI 53706, USA . School Psychology International (SAGE, London, Newbury Park and New Delhi), Vol . 12 (1991), 63-83 . c0

n m C's w ro i6 . The acronym of CARES has been offered by Gresham and Elliott (1990) to facilitate memory for.4 . and the identification of. 1987). 0. )o a't7 ` . h The term social competence has often been considered synonymous v with social skills . is a summary term which reflects social judgment about the general quality of an individd ual's performance in a given situation. o U 4. Responsibility . 0 ao c ~? w . sharing materiy als with a peer and complying with rules.~ E a 0 a) . . (. to 0 . D D 0-0 > r y E or Assessment of social skills and identification of children in need of social skills training A number of methods. however Table 1 documents the normative and w Qo . these clusters of psychosocial O) behaviors can be characterized as follows: U 1 .behaviors that show concern for a peer's or signifid U cant adult's feelings . identifiable skills form the basis for socially competent behav0 ior (Hops. > O Z CL-2 L y M M m c v 0. . The concept of social skills. empathy and self-control . checklists and sociometric nomination techniques.C a 0 CO C ~"0 4i C ~wO C 0 t..W Cd E . In general. . x c . 4. 4 . a) U 11 t.n information and behaviors that are responses to others' actions such as L responding to peer pressure .~ W O 0 O 00 W CJ a) X O O..~ O c u d y G ~D G  ii tu " vw0 ~ a a 'n. however.0 . responsibility. w M 'O O Cd o C 3N. u 00 y a7 O fs. From a treatment y Q perspective. cd A o U . including rating scales. C ' u a) ~ o. r U y C. Social competence. d -11 U Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training ar b a C a ~v Cy v o [ a) a) a) . 0o Eid" .y . =~ c o ya cs Z 0 C* 0.v of social competence .L a U. five major clusters of social skills .as 0 -1! C ~.4 w '6 .. is premised on the assumption that .: z~0 _a 0 b d d N U C . o . U a) ds N LO . Vol . 00 °. y . Briefly. The clusters are cooperation.b a u y EmEa~ O W. bw E °o .behaviors that demonstrate the ability to o) communicate with adults and concern about one's property .w r. 00 U u E.yC0 O 0 . Cd a = CLM uc o 40 O w cw rw T . V) 8 4 . Self-control . Children with social skills deficit are at risk for social-emotional difficulties and poor academic performances (Parker and Asher. H m 00 CLoo -0 A '~ .a . such as communication skills.initiating behaviors such as asking others for .~ c -°' u y= cCd W . from a behavioral perspective.~ b en E v E 0 a O CD N o od u C J0 E ° n.M 0 a 00 W a 0. C -0 CO H w v y C 0 Cq v .  N V C t. o.. Cooperation . . social skills may be the most malleable of the components . assertion. .a .°ecM . O 5.School Psychology International (1991).. a wider range of O behaviors and abilities. . Empathy . t% O O C U C N a v 'E 0 o d H t.-.= d 'o m 0 oo E0daE~d v ..a x o . C 3 .c v r. d t .. 2 .0 Y 'bw E CN'ic6 n°'. Assertion . LO - d' CO ti c o CV C C w a o.behaviors that emerge in conflict situations such 0 as responding appropriately to teasing or to corrective feedback from U an adult. To assess social competence. 12 would agree are examples of social skills .~ ~ N .o ~ + mc ir :3 . 1983) .behaviors such as helping others.'o Q. w m E cv H awoo._r u 0 C m rn w > C 'v 0 = vba. The development of social skills is one of the most important outcomes of the schooling process.ti specific. have been designed to identify children at risk for behavior problems. physical abiliU ties and physical appearance need to be considered ." W _Cl _ of d ~.:. 1984) . C!1 C W a) 4' y E v . Specific assessment procedures are not reviewed here.0) ca _a g :MO M l 2 n c H > a d c^ a) W .v =t  _ o u CO G d e cd   U 3 . ° . t0 . social skills may be defined as socially acceptable learned behaviors that enable a person to interact with others in ways that elicit positive responses and assist in avoiding negative responses (Gresham and Elliott.a. fo °-° ~n o A a u .

neglected. Direct measurement of behavior in applied setting c. a U W aI M 0M y N I .12 Ei . C C db C ~ d . . -5 . ~. m ~ 0. v C C d 0 U v -db o c 0 oS -C .r ~ U N d y d . Selection of target behaviors based upon importance ratings and teacher's ratings d.o m wav d a v 0 00 Go 00 .+ °~ . evaluation of intervention success typically Table 2 Assessment sequence for social skills Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training :a lr E C W d 00 C 0 l ?. O O G7 O ao">FmE E d y n.u u Cy J y s.5 daA c-° E y. (1989) Copyright 1989 by Pergamon Press . s oar u . U V aT+ d N y N o C am.G 'C 0 v V 0 0 N O 1.obtain child's perception of social behavior 8. . N U ~Y0 0 d¢3 8b ^ C* td . the critical characteristic that differentiates assessment methods is the extent to which a method allows for a functional analysis of behavior (i . Observation of peer reactions to target child's behavior 6. Guideline for parent interview 3. m . `o d 'O b d C C O O U V 3 c.y 0 U d G. V v d . 3oF.C ~ 0 '' . sequential and consequent conditions surrounding a molecular behavior) .e.= . o ' w v al 0 .° yC as 0 C . . a 0 c 'O m ~ cc E ~ - at m 7 . ^O u.0 M 0 .! > .o 'd Er V w i 0 V n C 0 n H 0 N Vi y ~d O m :p u c Q 39 .F a 3 C 0 .-r y r ca L 00 >'u 1. .. °0 y 0 G cd E.~'D ~z . y . Estimation ofcross-setting generality of deficits b. '~ ~ ~ . 0 c0 o C ~n co C C C i.22 ~' . E_roo~U .00 Y . y U y y o . Guideline for development of observation case 4. Self-report of social skills . Parent ratings of social skills a.c v o 00 Z. yy v . d C O w cd O t. Adapted 00 .F 0 F Onrid CCd vy~"~ C Cb 5 ro >. Estimation of behavior's importance to teacher c.~ . Guideline for teacher interview and direct observations 2. In general.r y .~ 0x v .. Further delineation of target behaviors b. G Q -SG O V d . Detailed reviews of social skills assessment methods have been published by Gresham and Elliott (1984. Sociometrics using liked most and liked least nominations a.b U C U .-0 o w W 0 _R . Tentative estimation of skill and performance deficits d. v by permission . (1986) .>+ O. 3 °cRr ~?w m°a~~ a a ~ . Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment. . O . E u d w v 0 Q . "F .-0.V m X v~ a .w ..C C ae. the purposes of social skills assessment concern either identification/classification or intervention/program planning .~ t. N F V C U l ~C>°~. v u . Assessment should proceed from global to specific to allow appropriate planning of interventions .3 o y. Classification of sociometric status (rejected. U N.0 A 'C ~ a7 C y w v 'D .v . . a ° x ° I C u. CL 10. n C ti .G o ~ . Child interview Note : From Elliott et al.r>Fv td y O r x . se v d 'o LT. In contrast.-~ GO U a '3Z b X C ~ . y Na > N . 12 School Psychology International (1991). Teacher interview a.e c . Ls. w ti L oa . hypotheses dictate the direction of assessment. O . s . .~ C-3 ~ CJ C. Functional analysis of behavior b. -C O.L h 07 F-. Measurement of social preference and social impact b.G u a >. Parent interview (same as above) 5.v .O^ b O d . C o d C W ro u. ou W -r .o . G d aa ~. A standard battery of tests or methods for assessing social skills does not exist.~ . w . U a ° L m . L. ~ 7 CT' metric characteristics of three frequently used rating scales : Social Behavior Assessment. U V (n 3 C .v ~wr u. C 0 U o m Q) °.Vol.. C Ob y X CN "U~ wb Ci v H a U . C a+ cd C ay V .C C as 4. ° 0.o N'b N U ~ U U CJ d : d G :s F -EFnz cn yH 0 O) M is . and Social Skills Rating System .w'O U . w ~3 C.a ~ C d> q co 0- E 0 EC 0. 0 . Parent's perceived importance of social behaviors c. From a behavioral perspective.5 w 'b ~ y O.. the questions to be answered and the methods to be used. 00 . Functional analysis ofbehavior in specific situations c. Direct observations of classroom behavior a. Estimation of frequency of behaviors b..C p u 0 A .0 -0 d ..0 u M C ao ^! o. F S"' C w C ~. W ° U .. 3 ° cd C (n . cd ai w ° 't7 t/) O . the extent to which an assessment procedure provides data on the antecedent.l N as a ~ n. Teacher ratings of social skills a.x .. Rather. 1989) and Strain et al .r o ~' ~ d~ 70 .d 0 CO . controversial) 7.~' d V U N O C Cz.

and because they primarily concern increasing prosocial behaviors. (2) therapist and peer directed or (3) peer directed . Self-system (self-talk. Basic assumptions and procedures for promoting social skills Social skills interventions focus on positive behaviors and use nonaversive methods (e . Operant (manipulation of antecedents and consequences) d. behavioral interviews with the referral source and possibly the target child. Setting and situations 4. Finally. Assumption 5: Social skill performance is influenced by the characteristics of an environment. Effective teachers of both academic and social skills model correct behavior. moving from behavior-specific outcomes to more global analyses of important social outcomes . (1983 : 3) which are fundamental to the conceptualization of social skills assessment and intervention plans . To increase the likelihood of accurate identification/classification decisions. we believe it is instructive to review five assumptions proposed by Michelson et al . effective interventions will need to address target behaviors which involve both verbal and non-verbal communications used to initiate or respond to others . these pragmatic assumptions provide direction to both assessment and intervention activities by stressing the multidimensional (verbal-non-verbal and initiating-responding). preferably norm-referenced. With this in mind. self-monitoring. These types of data usually result from multiple direct observations across settings .g . Teaching children social skills involves many of the same methods as teaching academic concepts . self-evaluation) 2. Assumption 2: Social skills comprise specific and discrete verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Therapist and peer directed a. we recommend the use of direct observations of the target child and non-target peers in multiple settings . regardless of intervention approach. 12 proceeds in the opposite direction. problem-solving. Table 4 provides a comparison of these three approaches along several common dimensions . Table 2 (from Elliott et al . In practice. from both a social skills scale and a problem behavior scale completed by the referral source . many researchers and practitioners have used procedures that represent combinations of two or more of these basic approaches . Peer-mediated initiation and reinforcement Treatment selection factors 1 . Assumption 4 : Social skills are interactive by nature and entail effective and appropriate responsiveness . A large number of intervention procedures have been identified as effective for training social skills in children . all students can participate and benefit from the interventions . data contributing to a functional analysis of important social behaviors are imperative . and teacher and parent ratings of socially valid molecular behaviors. elicit an imitative response. we now Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training . Type of problem and accompanying interfering behaviors 2. 1989) provides a summary of an heuristic sequence for the assessment of social skills . Resources available 3. and sociometric data from the target child's classmates . In addition. These procedures can be further classified into three theoretical approaches" that highlight common treatment features and assumptions about how social behavior is learned.School Psychology International (1991). Assumption 3: Social skills entail both effective and appropriate initiations and responses.. modeling. provide corrective feedback and arrange for opportunities to practice the new skill (Cartledge and Milburn. Table 3 illustrates common social skills training tactics that are (1) therapist directed. These also are the characteristics that teachers and parents report they like in interventions (Elliott. First. These approaches are operant. Problem solving exercises (role play) e. rating scale data. these programs can be built into the existing structure of a classroom or home environment. Common social skills training tactics and selection factors Therapist directed a . Collectively. Regarding intervention decisions. However. we will use the three groups of interventions to describe the basic procedures and to organize a review of their effectiveness . 1986). Vol. social learning and cognitive-behavioral . Assumption 1 : Social skills are primarily acquired through learning which involves observation. coaching and reinforcement) to improve children's behavior . Thus. however. interactive. rehearsal and feedback . Behavioral interviews with the treatment agent(s) also will be important to assess the treatment setting. thus minimizing the Table 3 1. live and symbolic) b. Peer directed a. Therefore. Group therapy (includes modeling. Modeling (positive and negative . situation-specific nature of social skills . guided practice) 3. behavioral role plays with the target child. Coaching c. social skills interventions can be used with individuals or groups of students. the acceptability of the final treatment plan and the integrity with which the plan is implemented . 1988). modeling. Treatment effectiveness and acceptability findings time required for successful implementation and maximizing treatment generalization . utilization of these methods may enhance treatment integrity .

0 .~ y U a. 12 School Psychology International Y U -0 c7 Cd d O bD q 'j a. Strain and Timm. x c. implicitly assume that the child possesses the requisite social skills but is not performing them at acceptable levels . Cd cd ~ o ^ U C . ca Up a b V a (U '0 w p O .. 1974) used an antecedent control procedure termed peer social initiations to increase social interaction rates of socially withdrawn children . Control of a behavior is most often achieved through the application of reinforcement or punishment contingent on the observance of the behavior . observable behavior and the antecedent and consequent events that surround the behavior .n . Strain et al . Antecedent control of social behavior can set the occasion for positive social interactions and has the advantage of requiring less teacher time and monitoring than other procedures (e .b o -C LO . ~b U .(1991). O W o ° . .n ca OX O -O . cooperative learning requires students to work together in completing an academic task . The group. Antecedent control procedures. many social behaviors can also be modified through the control of antecedent conditions.a " Cd y Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training examine the procedures that are germane to the operant. ao N 0 U n pN O it O`". ~ . O 7 > d V V is . b 0 Sb a o . This procedure requires that students cooperate. Cooperative learning Cooperative learning is another method which focuses upon manipulating antecedent conditions to set the occasion for positive social interactions (Madden and Slavin. 'C > Cd ro d O O O . Operant intervention procedures Operant conditioning procedures focus on overt. as y V U 0 m n N > u m' .. . social learning and cognitive-behavioral approaches to social skills interventions . However. 0 f-i en '5 a U o O cd W c r . d U 0 . however.p '  b a .. share and assist each other in completing the task and. y O ~y :[ a °" U ch Cd 4 . reinforcement-based procedures) . The general procedure involved having a trained peer confederate initiate positive social interactions with a withdrawn child in a free-play environment. Basically.ty N N y a cd o ^O .~ a . rather than the individual. 1977 . to appropriately initiate and maintain social interactions . Thus. This procedure effectively increased rates of social interactions of withdrawn children . Strain and his colleagues (Strain.C . r O +' 0 a c .g .[ cn G» O a O d a r W a V d 0 n 0 O a. °' O q.. G a a-> U . the manipulation of both antecedents and consequences are valuable procedures for interventions in a wide variety of settings and with almost any performance deficit. O U d a U r . 4~ t0 G . - q . 1977 .T cd y C O ya " U O Cd y 0 ~ ~ -C O L O O m '5 y Cd H CL d a "cZ Cd V L. 5d oa ° c~ a °' o f c b cd .0 ~ cl . d a. 1983). such as a friend appearing at your door or a teacher prompting students to observe a playground conduct rule before leaving for recess .o 0 on 0 C' 4 'v a s C 0 C O N 0 . receives a grade on the completed academic product. . G. Some children experience difficulties in interpersonal relationships because the social environment is not structured to facilitate positive social exchanges. X a.. prior to the intervention. Vol. Peer confederates were coached. r o a. Strain and Fox (1981) provide a comprehensive review of these procedures for pre-schoolers and for older children . O 0 H U O .

the classroom) and (2) symbolic modeling. (1973) used a DRO procedure to decrease the aggressive behavior of a boy and contingent social reinforcement to increase his positive social interaction . 12 Contingent social reinforcement Contingent social reinforcement involves having a teacher. For example. Both types of modeling have been effective in teaching social skills. however. represents an effective technique for increasing the likelihood of positive social behaviors . to decrease the frequency of talking-out behavior in a classroom. This procedure would have the effect of increasing all other responses and extinguishing aggressive behavior . These procedures. Therefore. This procedure led to a six-fold increase in social interaction rates over baseline levels . Dietz and Repp (1973) used a DRL schedule to reduce the inappropriate talking of an entire EMR classroom. in which a target child observes the social behaviors of a model via film or videotape . teaching positive social behaviors. is reinforced . Althpugh contingent social reinforcement increases rates of positive social interaction. (1964) had a teacher socially reinforce a four-year-old socially isolated girl whenever she interacted with other children . For example. to decrease aggressive behavior and increase positive social interactions. at the same time. This enables social learning theorists to develop the role of modeling influences apart from their use in the acquisition of new behavior. In social skills training.g. DRO involves presenting reinforcement after any behavior except the target behavior. 1985. or for . although the majority of empirical studies Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training Social learning intervention procedures Differential reinforcement Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) and differential reinforcement of low rate of responding (DRL) have also been used to modify social skills . 1982) . For example. The implicit assumption when using these procedures is that the child knows how to perform the social behavior in question but is not doing so because of the lack of reinforcement for appropriate social behavior. School Psychology International (1991). A number of operant-learning procedures (i. The studies just reviewed illustrate that DRO and DRL are effective in decreasing the frequency of negative social behaviors . depending on the effect of the consequence . For example. in which the target child observes the social behaviors of models in naturalistic settings (e .e. This process of observing the consequence for a modeled behavior is referred to as vicarious punishment or vicarious reinforcement. Social learning procedures have their roots in the social learning theory of Bandura and Walters (1963) and Bandura (1977). Modeling has broad empirical support for teaching new social skills to children and youths (Gresham. Reinforcers may be delivered for reduction in the overall frequency of a response within a particular time period. Observers tend to inhibit responses which they see punished in others.. socially acceptable behavior can be elicited through the presence of a person modeling a particular behavior. Modeling also affects the performance of previously learned responses through its disinhibitory or cueing effects. Thus. any behavior that is exhibited by a child except aggressive behavior. modeling can be divided into two types : (1) live modeling. Vol. increased elapsed time between responses (interresponse time) . All of these procedures are based on the assumption that low rates of positive social interaction and high rates of negative social interaction result from reinforcement contingencies (positive or negative) occurring subsequent to behavior . Variations of this basic procedure have been successful with elective mute and severely and profoundly mentally retarded populations (Mayhew et al . if one student volunteers to help the teacher. DRL involves reinforcing reductions in the performance of a target behavior. Pinkston et al . manipulation of antecedents and consequences) have been used to increase the frequency of positive social behaviors and decrease the frequency of negative social behaviors . it is perhaps best used to maintain social interaction rates once they have been established through other social skills intervention procedures. students could earn reinforcement if the entire class made five or fewer 'talk-outs' in a fifty-minute period . whereas they are likely to perform the behavior if it is reinforced . are perhaps best used as adjuncts in social skills interventions as a means of decreasing negative social behaviors while. parent or other significant person to a child publicly reinforce appropriate social behaviors .. Social learning theorists differentiate between the learning of a response and the performance of that learning. Therefore. The consequences for a modeled behavior are hypothesized to influence the future occurrence of the same behavior . 1978).such. the individual is reinforced only when he or she does not perform the target behavior after a certain amount of time has elapsed . a reinforcement contingency could be specified such that reinforcement would only occur if the frequency of behavior was at or below a given criterion level. During the DRL contingency. who suggest that social behavior is acquired through two types of learning: observational learning and reinforced learning. Wandless and Prinz. it requires a great deal of teacher/parent involvement on a consistent basis to be effective . he or she will often elicit similar volunteering behaviors in other students in the class. Allen et al.

Identify skill components a. Instant replay (if necessary) 5. Establish and explain the need. Evaluation ofcritical components and sequence 3 . 7. (1976) obtained similar results using coaching procedures . 'What would someone have to do to show they were cooperating?' b. Modeling a social skill a. and the student in need of acquiring the desired behavior. Ladd (1981) and Gottman et al . Group participation c . the selected social skills are rehearsed with the coach . Coping vs mastery models d. This procedure was also effective in increasing the sociometric status of the students who successfully acquired the new social skills . Several applied researchers have developed interventions that . 6. Use sufficient behavior exemplars Gresham and Nagle (1980) conducted the only published study to date in which modeling has been compared to coaching (a cognitivebehavioral procedure discussed in detail in the next section) . Live modeling. opportunity for skill rehearsal and feedback on skill performance . First. Constructive feedback e. reinforcement will also be evidenced . may be a more flexible technique for classroom settings because of the opportunity to modify the modeling sequences based upon behavioral performance . The coaching procedure involved the three steps of verbal instructions. Role models 2. 2. the coach provides specific feedback during the behavior rehearsal and offers suggestions for future performance . communication. Stories b. 'flow could you show that you disagree with someone without getting into an argument or fight?' Ask for specific behavioral negative examples of concept Generate situations and settings where skill is appropriate and inappropriate Behavioral rehearsal Constructive feedback and instant replay The cognitive-behavioral approach to intervention is a loosely defined group of procedures which place significant emphasis on an individual's internal regulation of his or her behavior . Sequencing of skill components d. set the stage a . Third. Table 5 Guidelines for using modeling procedures School Psychology International (1991). Personal experiences of group members d. 'What things would you have to do to show you were helping others?' c. Table 6 1. 12 1. Table 5 provides basic guidelines for using modeling . Task analysis b. Review of skill components c. Model/observer similarity c. Coaching is a direct verbal instruction technique that involves a 'coach' (most often a teacher or psychologist.have used symbolic modeling because of the experimental control afforded by the consistent presentation format . but occasionally a peer). however. Thus coaching. Guidelines for using coaching procedures Elliott and Busse: Social Shills Training 5. cognitivebehavioral approaches to social skills training emphasize a person's Coaching has received empirical support as a social skills training procedure . can be easily supplemented with behavioral and/or social learning procedures . Second. TV or movies c. 3. Vol. cooperation and peer reinforcement to students . the child is presented with rules for or standards of behavior. the treatments containing a coaching component were more effective than modeling in decreasing rates of negative social interactions . (3) modeling and coaching. Use sufficient stimulus exemplars b . Present social concept based on skill to be learned Ask for definitions of social skills Provide clarification of definitions Ask for specific behavioral examples of concept a. Salience of modeled skill components b. In particular. 8. Oden and Asher (1977) used coaching to teach participation. Two of the most frequently used cognitive-behavioral social skills procedures are coaching and social problem solving . 4. Table 6 provides basic guidelines for enacting coaching procedures . and (4) attention controls. (2) coaching. Interestingly. although conceptualized as a verbal instruction procedure that requires cognitive skills of the student to translate the instruction into desired behaviors. Situational relevance d . In some rehearsal situations modeling procedures may also become part of the coach's training. Most coaching interventions require three steps. and if the coach praises the accurate performance of a behavior by the student. The three treatment conditions were equally effective in increasing sociometric status and increasing the frequency of positive social interactions . Students were exposed to one of four conditions : (1) modeling. Cognitive-behavioral intervention procedures ability to problem solve and to self-regulate behavior . Program for generalization a. Situational relevance of modeled behavior 4. knowledgeable as to how to enact a desired behavior. Behavioral rehearsal a. Soliciting participants b.

since the former procedures are usually much briefer and are likely to involve a smaller number of students . Converse to what often is expected. and in particular for operant and modeling procedures . Although the ICPS approach places more emphasis on the conditions that accompany social problem situations and employs a narrower training procedure than does the SPS approach. Social-cognitive procedures were found to be less effective. the steps can be characterized as: (1) identify and define the problem. (1982) recommended that social skill interventions not be considered valid unless generalization to the natural environment could be demonstrated. who conducted a large meta analysis of social skills training studies.g. By incorporating as many of these facilitators as possible into social skill interventions. 1983. 1985). Ladd and Mize. observable behavioral skills makes it difficult to measure post-intervention improvements in social performance accurately. Gresham. 1985.stress teaching children the process of solving social or interpersonal problems. No gender differences in the effect sizes were noted (although few studies have treated gender as an independent variable) . more effective than interventions lasting more than fifty days. In addition. With regard to child characteristics. 2. which are largely classroom based. Guidelines for using social problem solving procedures School Psychology International (1991). Facilitating generalization of social skills Berler et al. The basic operant tactics include (1) the manipulation of environmental conditions to create opportunities for social interactions which prompt/cue socially desired behavior in a target child and (2) the manipulation of consequences so that socially appropriate behavior is reinforced and socially inappropriate behavior. This result was interpreted as consistent with the overall finding that modeling and operant procedures were more effective than social-cognitive procedures. interventions of fewer than five days were. (3) predict the consequences for each alternative reaction and (4) select the reaction that is `best' or most adaptive. (2) training across stimuli (e. Stokes and Baer (1977) and Michelson et al. referred to as generalization facilitators. whenever possible. Briefly. 4. As Weissburg (1985) pointed out. both use a similar sequence of steps to train students to identify and react to social problems . was found to be more effective for withdrawn and learning . social skills training. Table 7 illustrates basic guidelines for using social problem solving strategies to improve social functioning . 7. Schneider and Byrne. Table 7 1. and by offering Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training Effectiveness of social skills interventions and suggestions for practice Several major reviews have been written concerning the effectiveness of social skills training procedures with children (see Cartledge and Milburn. especially with young children . that such an approach does not focus on discrete social skills training and that learning social skills generally requires more skill focused. which enhance generalization beyond the specific aspects of an intervention. (1983) identified several procedures. That is. Vol. (4) reinforcing application of skills to new and appropriate situations. externally reinforced procedures than offered by this cognitively oriented approach . 1986. the duration of interventions was related negatively to the outcome . however. feedback and reinforcement should be a primary tactic in developing new social behaviors in children . is ignored rather than punished . 1985). setting) common to the natural environment . (3) fading response contingencies to approximate naturally occurring consequences . some of these intervention programs. (2) determine alternative ways of reacting to the problem. Schneider and Byrne (1985) and Mastropieri and Scruggs (1985-6). parents and other individuals interested in facilitating the development of social skills in children include the extensive use of operant methods to reinforce existing social skills. 12 Define and formulate problem Generate alternate solutions Specify consequences regarding alternatives Select `best' alternative Specify requirements/steps to implement solution Verify outcomes of solution Discuss and reinforce the problem solving process disabled students than for aggressive students . The focus of most social-cognitive procedures on generalizable problem solving strategies as opposed to more discrete. 5. Examples of generalization facilitators include : (1) teaching behaviors that are likely to be maintained by naturally occurring contingencies . on the average. It should be noted. persons. there appears to be substantial support for the effectiveness of social skills training procedures in general. modeling of appropriate social behavior supplemented with some coaching. have been called social problem solving (SPS) whereas others have been called interpersonal cognitive problem solving (ICPS) programs . and (5) including peers in training . Based on reviews of research by Gresham (1981. 6. Schneider and Byrne. Social problem solving methods of social skills training can be used with individual children or entire classrooms and have become common parts of several classroom social skills curriculums. 3. In addition. indicated that social skills interventions were more effective for pre-schoolers and adolescents than elementary children . Practical suggestions from the research literature for teachers.

g . embedded in Figure 1 are lists of treatments that often have been found effective for the various problem types. anxiety. Hence. Interventions have included peer initiations. Impulsivity (a tendency toward short response latencies) is another emotional arousal response that can hinder social skill acquisition (Kendal) and Braswell. particularly with respect to fears and phobias (Bandura. Typically. this scheme of social skill difficulties distinguishes between whether or not a child knows how to perform the target skill and the presence of interfering behaviors (e . behavioral rehearsal and coaching are frequently used to remediate social skill acquisition deficits . Interventions designed to remediate Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) Reductive procedures to decrease interfering problem behaviors Social skills strengths Reinforcement procedures to maintain desired social behavior Use student as a model for other students Reinforcement procedures to maintain desired social behavior Reductive procedures to decrease interfering problem behaviors Social skills acquisition deficits with interfering problem behaviors i f i i a i t i i. Social skills performance deficits Children with a social skills performance deficit have appropriate social skills in their behavior repertoires. anxiety. i Figure 1 A scheme for classifying social behavior problems and suggesting treatment techniques for such problems . maintenance and generalization of skills will be enhanced . The components of this classification scheme are as follows: School Psychology International (1991). paired with self-control strategies. Vol. This classification scheme and its suggested treatments are part of Gresham and Elliott's (1990) Social Skills Rating System . In addition. This social skills problem describes a child for whom an emotional (e . Classifying social skill difficulties and selecting interventions Most authors agree that social incompetencies observed in children can result from difficulties in response acquisition or response performance (Bandura. modeling. 12 anxiety that interferes with social skills primarily involve emotionarousal reduction techniques. self-monitoring and self-reinforcement (Kendal) and Braswell. 1977). such as desensitization or flooding. excessive movement) response(s) prevents skill acquisition . Direct instruction. 1977). social skills strengths and possible concurrent interfering problem behaviors . such as self-talk. 1985 . but fail to perform them at acceptable levels or at appropriate times. inattentiveness or excess movements are often referred to as reductive procedures (Lentz. These No interfering problem behaviors Social skills acquisition deficits Direct instruction Modeling Behavioral rehearsal Coaching Interfering problem behaviors Modeling Coaching Differential reinforcement of a low rate of response (DRL) Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) Reductive procedures to decrease interfering problem behaviors Social skills performance deficits Operant methods to manipulate antecedent or consequent conditions to increase the rate of existing behaviors Operant methods to manipulate antecedent or consequent conditions to increase the rate of existing prosocial behaviors Differential reinforcement of a low rate of response (DRL) r i Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training Social skills acquisition deficits This social skill problem characterizes children who have not acquired the necessary social skills to interact appropriately with others or those who have failed to learn a critical step in the performance of the skill. a social skills performance deficit has been modified by manipulating antecedents and consequences . As shown in Figure 1. 1988). Interventions that can help reduce overt behaviors such as physical or verbal aggression. Gresham and Elliott (1990) extended this two-way classification scheme to include areas of social skills problems.g .intervention `booster' sessions at regular intervals. contingent social reinforcement and group contingencies .g . aggressiveness) . verbal aggression. a child may not learn to interact effectively with others because social anxiety inhibits social approach behavior. 1977). Anxiety is one such emotional arousal response shown to prevent acquisition of appropriate coping behaviors. Meichenbaum. sadness) and/or behavioral (e . 1985) .

the DATE (Define-Assess-Teach-Evaluate) model. R . it is likely that interventions involving the manipulation of antecedents and/or consequences will be successful . interviews with teachers and/or parents and occasionally a structured role play to confirm deficits and to refine intervention plans. and Milburn. Vol .. 12 Social skills performance deficits with interfering problem behaviors Children with a social skill performance deficit accompanied by interfering problem behaviors have a given social skill in their behavior repertories. (1977) Social Learning Theory. behaviors are one's assessment of social skills can be linked conceptually and practically to an intervention plan. Fourth. 2nd edn . including rating scales. response cost. time-out.E..g. Rhinehart and Winston . (1987) 'Child/ Adolescent Behavioral and Emotional Problems: Implications of Crossinformant Correlations for Situational Specificity'. Second.M. T. Cartledge. These approaches were the behavioral approach. overcorrection) . stimulus control training to teach discrimination skills and contingent reinforcement to increase display of appropriate social behavior are often used to ameliorate this social skill problem .. we have outlined. Third. coaching and role playing techniques .N . S . (3) modeling the behavior using either live or filmed procedures. but the majority of effective interventions combine the manipulation of antecedents or consequences with modeling/coaching procedures . and have described and reviewed research on three approaches to social skills intervention or training . M. First.S. The intervention options available for young children with a social skills deficit are numerous. teaching strategies are prescribed to fit the student's needs as determined by the assessment results and the classification that best characterizes the social skills deficit(s). C.S. Gross. Summary In this article.. NJ: PrenticeHall. when a child fails to perform a social behavior he/she is capable of.S. preferably via multiple methods. the conditions (antecedent and consequent) surrounding the behavior are also defined . DRO and DRL).F. behaviors are defined and stated in observable terms . and Howell. reprimands. References Achenbach. E. when the interfering behaviors persist. Child Development 35 : 7-9 . the intervention objectives are to teach and increase the frequency ofa prosocial behavior and concurrently to decrease or eliminate the interfering problem behavior . (1964)'Effects of Social Reinforcement on Isolate Behavior of a Nursery School Child'. and Drabman. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 6: 457-63 . The DATE model can be implemented by a teacher. but performance of the skill is hindered by an emotional or overt problem behavior response and by problems in antecedent or consequent control . Dietz. (1982) 'Social Skills Training with Children: Proceed with Caution'. Conversely. (1988) 'Acceptability of Behavioral Treatments in Educational Elliott and Busse: Social Skills Training . and Walters. direct observations of the child. F . and Wolf. for social skills acquisition deficits that are accompanied by significant interfering behaviors.M. A. the social learning approach and the cognitive-behavioral approach . K . The behavioral and social learning based approaches have been shown to lead to the most effective interventions for developing skill building interaction behaviors. Buell. (1973) 'Decreasing Classroom Misbehavior through the Use of DRL Schedules of Reinforcement'. Allen. S. (4) behavior rehearsal and response feedback and (5) generalization training. G.include the use of reinforcement techniques (e.. School Psychology International (1991). R. groupcontingencies and mild aversive techniques (e . Bandura. J . and Repp.R. (1963) Social Learning and Personality Development . The article concluded with the presentation of a model. J. (1986) Teaching Social Skills to Children: Innovative Approaches. A. reductive methods may also be necessary .H. psychologist or other specialist through five steps: (1) establishing the need for performing the behavior. When a child's social difficulty results from a lack of knowledge ofa particular skill.M . In addition. the effects of the teaching procedures are evaluated empirically with the assessment methods used to select students and target behaviors . (2) identifying the specific behavioral components of the skill or task analysis. New York: Holt.g. Thus. Occasionally. Hart. Berler. The DATE model is applied continuously to each deficient social behavior that the student exhibits. An implementation framework for social skills assessment and intervention A general framework for social skills training can be described by the acronym DATE (Define-Assess-Teach-Evaluate) . New York : Pergamon Press.H .M. Harris. for implementing social skills interventions . Journal ofApplied Behavior Analysis 15: 41-53. A. Elliott. McConaughy. These five steps represent an easilv implemented and generic approach to teaching social behavior using the intervention procedures which have consistently been found to be most effective . Bandura. B. Englewood Cliffs. it is generally necessary to use a direct intervention that involves modeling.T. S. Self-control strategies to teach inhibition of inappropriate behavior. A. Psychological Bulletin 101 :213-32 .

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