Advertisement

Theories of Social Competence from the Top-Down to the Bottom-Up: A Case for Considering Foundational Human Needs

  • Kathryn N Stump
  • Jacklyn M Ratliff
  • Yelena P Wu
  • Patricia H Hawley
Chapter

Abstract

Social competence is an oft-studied, little understood construct that nonetheless remains a hallmark of positive, healthy functioning across the life span. Social competence itself, however, remains a nebulous concept in the developmental literature, particularly in the peer relations field. Dodge (1985) pointed out that there are nearly as many definitions of social competence as there are researchers in the field. Likewise, Ladd (2005) outlined the century-long academic history of research on social competence and also noted its numerous conceptualizations.

Keywords

Social Skill Social Competence Social Preference Reactive Aggression Attachment Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Adler, A. (1924). The practice and theory of individual psychology. Oxford, England: Harcourt, Brace.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, P. A., & Adler, P. (1998). Peer power: Preadolescent culture and identity. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ainsworth, M. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Oxford, England: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, S., & Messick, S. (1974). Social competency in young children. Developmental Psychology, 10, 282–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aseltine, R. H. (1995). A reconsideration of parental and peer influences on adolescent deviance. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(2), 103–121.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bakan, D. (1966). The duality of human existence. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  7. Barksdale-Ladd, M. A., & Thomas, K. F. (2000). What’s at stake in high-stakes testing: Teachers and parents speak out. Journal of Teacher Education, 51, 384–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(2), 226–244.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Baumeister, R., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Berndt, T. J., & Savin-Williams, R. C. (1993). Peer relations and friendships. In P. H. Tolan, & B. J. Cohler (Eds.), Handbook of clinical research and practice with adolescents (pp. 203–219). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  11. Bernstein, I. S. (1981). Dominance: The baby and the bathwater. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 4(3), 419–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Block, J. H. (1983). Differential premises arising from differential socialization of the sexes: Some conjectures. Child Development, 54(6), 1335–1354.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Bost, K. K., Vaughn, B. E., Washington, W. N., Cielinski, K. L., & Bradbard, M. R. (1998). Social competence, social support, and attachment: Demarcation of construct domains, measurement, and paths of influence for preschool children attending head start. Child Development, 69(1), 192–218.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Bowlby, J. (1969/1980). Attachment and loss. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  15. Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  16. Brame, B., Nagin, D. S., & Tremblay, R. E. (2001). Developmental trajectories of physical aggression from school entry to late adolescence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42(4), 503–512.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Self-report measurement of adult attachment: An integrative overview. In J. A. Simpson, & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships. (pp. 46–76). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  18. Brook, J. S., & Newcomb, M. D. (1995). Childhood aggression and unconventionality: Impact on later academic achievement, drug use, and workforce involvement. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 156(4), 393–410.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Brown, W. H., Odom, S. L., & Holcombe, A. (1996). Observational assessment of young children's social behavior with peers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 11, 19–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Buhrmester, D. (1996). Need fulfillment, interpersonal competence, and the developmental contexts of early adolescent friendship. In W. M. Bukowski, A. F. Newcomb, & W. W. Hartup (Eds.), The company they keep: Friendship in childhood and adolescence. (pp. 158–185). New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Bukowski, W. M. (2003). What does it mean to say that aggressive children are competent or incompetent? Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Special Issue: Aggression and Adaptive Functioning: The Bright Side to Bad Behavior, 49(3), 390–400.Google Scholar
  22. Cairns, R. B., & Cairns, B. D. (1994). Lifelines and risks: Pathways of youth in our time. New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Chandler, M. J. (1973). Egocentrism and antisocial behavior: The assessment and training of social perspective-taking skills. Developmental Psychology, 9, 326–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cillessen, A. H. N., & Mayeux, L. (2004). From censure to reinforcement: Developmental changes in the association between aggression and social status. Child Development, 75(1), 147–163.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Cillessen, A. H. N., & Rose, A. J. (2005). Understanding popularity in the peer system. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(2), 102–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Coie, J. D., & Dodge, K. A. (1983). Continuities and changes in children's social status: A five-year longitudinal study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29(3), 261–282.Google Scholar
  27. Coie, J. D., & Dodge, K. A. (1998). Aggression and antisocial behavior. In W. Damon & N. Eisenberg (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, social, emotional, and personality development. (5th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 779–862). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
  28. Coleman, J. S. (1961). The adolescent society: The social life of the teenager and its impact on education. Oxford, England: Free Press of Glencoe.Google Scholar
  29. Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66(3), 710–722.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Deasy, R. J. (Ed.). (2002). Critical links: Learning in the arts and student academic and social development (Arts Education Partnership, Washington, DC). Washington, DC: Department of Education.Google Scholar
  31. deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  32. Deci, E. L. (1980). The psychology of self-determination. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  33. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dishion, T. J., Patterson, G. R., & Griesler, P. C. (1994). Peer adaptations in the development of antisocial behavior: A confluence model. In L. R. Huesmann (Ed.), Aggressive behavior: Current perspectives (pp. 61–95). New York, NY, US: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  35. Dodge, K. A. (1985). Facets of social interaction and the assessment of social competence in children. In B. Schneider, K. H. Rubin, & J. Ledingham (Eds.), Children’s peer relations: Issues in assessment and intervention (pp. 3–22). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  36. Duncan, N. (2004). It's important to be nice, but it's nicer to be important: Girls, popularity and sexual competition. Sex Education. Special Issue: Sex/Sexuality and Relationships Education Conference, 4(2), 137–152.Google Scholar
  37. Eder, D. (1985). The cycle of popularity: Interpersonal relations among female adolescents. Sociology of Education, 58(3), 154–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Elliot, A. J., McGregor, H. A., & Thrash, T. M. (2002). The need for competence. In E. Deci & R. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination theory (pp. 361–387). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  39. Erdley, C. A., & Asher, S. R. (1999). A social goals perspective on children’s social competence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 7, 156–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Freud, S. (1930/1964). Civilization and its discontents. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  41. Frodi, A., Bridges, L., & Grolnick, W. S. (1985). Correlates of mastery related behavior: A short-term longitudinal study of infants in their second year. Child Development, 56, 1291–1298.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Galen, B. R., & Underwood, M. K. (1997). A developmental investigation of social aggression among children. Developmental Psychology, 33(4), 589–600.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Hawley, P. H. (1999). The ontogenesis of social dominance: A strategy-based evolutionary perspective. Developmental Review, 19(1), 97–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hawley, P. H. (2002). Social dominance and prosocial and coercive strategies of resource control in preschoolers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 167–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hawley, P. H. (2003a). Strategies of control, aggression, and morality in preschoolers: An evolutionary perspective. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 85, 213–235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Hawley, P. H. (2003b). Prosocial and coercive configurations of resource control in early adolescence: A case for the well-adapted Machiavellian. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Special Issue: Aggression and Adaptive Functioning: The Bright Side to Bad Behavior, 49(3), 279–309.Google Scholar
  47. Hawley, P. H. (2007). Social dominance in childhood and adolescence: Why social competence and aggression may go hand in hand. In P. H. Hawley, T. D. Little, & P. C. Rodkin (Eds.), Aggression and adaptation: The bright side to bad behavior (pp. 1–29). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  48. Hawley, P. H., Johnson, S. E., Mize, J. A., & McNamara, K. A. (2007). Physical attractiveness in preschoolers: Relationships with power, status, aggression and social skills. Journal of School Psychology, 45(5), 499–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hawley, P. H., & Little, T. D. (1999). On winning some and losing some: A social relations approach to social dominance in toddlers. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 45(2), 185–214.Google Scholar
  50. Hawley, P. H., Little, T. D., & Card, N. A. (2007). The allure of a mean friend: Relationship quality and processes of aggressive adolescents with prosocial skills. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31(2), 170–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Hawley, P. H., Little, T. D., & Card, N. A. (2008). The myth of the alpha male: A new look at dominance-related beliefs and behaviors among adolescent males and females. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 32(1), 76–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hawley, P. H., Little, T. D., & Pasupathi, M. (2002). Winning friends and influencing peers: Strategies of peer influence in late childhood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26(5), 466–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Hawley, P. H., Shorey, H. S., & Alderman, P. M. Attachment correlates of resource control strategies: Possible origins of social dominance and interpersonal power differentials. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The origins of social dominance and power: Perspectives from resource control and attachment theories. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  54. Hogan, R. (1982). A socioanalytic theory of personality. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 30, 5–89.Google Scholar
  55. Hull, C. L. (1943). Principles of behavior: An introduction to behavior theory. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  56. Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (2001). Be careful what you wish for: Optimal functioning and the relative attainment of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. In P. Schmuck & K. Sheldon (Eds.), Life goals and well-being. Gottingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  57. Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D. H., & Anderson, C. (2003). Power, approach, and inhibition. Psychological Review, 110, 265–284.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Kohlberg, L., & Mayer, R. (1972). Development as the aim of education. Harvard Educational Review, 42, 449–496.Google Scholar
  59. Kroger, J. (2003). Identity development during adolescence. In G. R. Adams & M. D. Berzonsky (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of adolescence (pp. 205–226). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  60. La Guardia, J. G., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 367–384.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Ladd, G. W. (1990). Having friends, keeping friends, making friends, and being liked by peers in the classroom: Predictors of children's early school adjustment? Child Development, 61(4), 1081–1100.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Ladd, G. W. (2005). Children’s peer relations and social competence: A century of progress. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Lagerspetz, K. M., Björkqvist, K., & Peltonen, T. (1988). Is indirect aggression typical of females? Gender differences in aggressiveness in 11- to 12-year-old children. Aggressive Behavior, 14(6), 403–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Little, T. D., Brauner, J., Jones, S. M., Nock, M. K., & Hawley, P. H. (2003). Rethinking aggression: A typological examination of the functions of aggression. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Special Issue: Aggression and Adaptive Functioning: The Bright Side to Bad Behavior, 49(3), 343–369.Google Scholar
  65. Little, T. D., Jones, S. M., Henrich, C. C., & Hawley, P. H. (2003). Disentangling the "whys" from the "whats" of aggressive behaviour. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27(2), 122–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. (1980). Sex differences in aggression: A rejoinder and reprise. Child Development, 51(4), 964–980.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Machiavelli, N. (1513/2003). The prince and other writings. New York: Barnes and Noble Classics.Google Scholar
  68. Maslow, A. H. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. Oxford, England: Viking.Google Scholar
  69. Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Newcomb, A. F., Bukowski, W. M., & Pattee, L. (1993). Children's peer relations: A meta-analytic review of popular, rejected, neglected, controversial, and average sociometric status. Psychological Bulletin, 113(1), 99–128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2001). Group identity and alienation: Giving the we its due. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 515–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Ogbu, J. U. (1981). Origins of human competence: A cultural-ecological perspective. Child Development, 52, 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Parker, J. G., & Asher, S. R. (1987). Peer relations and later personal adjustment: Arelow-accepted children at risk? Psychological Bulletin, 102(3), 357–389.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Parker, J. G., & Gottman, J. M. (1989). Social and emotional development in a relational context: Friendship interaction from early childhood to adolescence. In T. J. Berndt & G. W. Ladd (Eds.), Peer relationships in child development (pp. 95–131). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  75. Parker, J. G., Rubin, K. H., Erath, S. A., Wojslawowicz, J. C., & Buskirk, A. A. (2006).Peer relationships, child development, and adjustment: A developmental psychopathology perspective. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Theory and methods (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 419–493). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
  76. Parkhurst, J. T., & Hopmeyer, A. (1998). Sociometric popularity and peer-perceived popularity: Two distinct dimensions of peer status. Journal of Early Adolescence, 18(2), 125–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Patrick, H., Knee, C. R., Canevello, A., & Lonsbary, C. (2007). The role of need fulfillment in relationship functioning and well-being: A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(3), 434–457.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Pelletier, L. G., Seguin-Levesque, C., & Legault, L. (2002). Pressure from above and pressure from below as determinants of teachers’ motivation and teaching behaviors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 186–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Prinstein, M. J., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2003). Forms and functions of adolescent peer aggression associated with high levels of peer status. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Special Issue: Aggression and Adaptive Functioning: The Bright Side to Bad Behavior, 49(3), 310–342.Google Scholar
  80. Rodkin, P. C., Farmer, T. W., Pearl, R., & Van Acker, R. (2006). They're cool: Social status and peer group supports for aggressive boys and girls. Social Development, 15(2), 175–204.Google Scholar
  81. Roeser, R. W., Eccles, J. S., & Sameroff, A. J. (2000). School as a context of early adolescents’ academic and social-emotional development: A summary of research findings. The Elementary School Journal, 100, 443–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rose-Krasnor, L. (1997). The nature of social competence: A theoretical review. Social Development, 6, 111–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Rubin, K. H., & Rose-Krasnor, L. (1992). Interpersonal problem solving and social competence in children. In V. B. Van Hasselt & M. Hersen (Eds.), Handbook of social development: A lifespan perspective (pp. 283–323). New York, NY: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  84. Ryan, R. M. (1993). Agency and organization: Intrinsic motivation, autonomy and the self in psychological development. In J. Jacobs (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation: Developmental perspectives on motivation (Vol. 40, pp. 1–56). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  85. Ryan, R. M., & Brown, K. W. (2005). Legislating competence: High-stakes testing policies and their relations with psychological theories and research. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 354–372). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  86. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000a). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54–67.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000b). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  88. Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L., & Grolnick, W. S. (1995). Autonomy, relatedness, and the self: Their relation to development and psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Theory and methods (Vol. 1, pp. 618–655). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  89. Ryan, R. M., Kuhl, J., & Deci, E. L. (1997). Nature and autonomy: An organizational view on the social and neurobiological aspects of self-regulation in behavior and development. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 701–728.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  90. Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (1998). Pursuing personal goals: Skills enable progress, but not all progress is beneficial. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1319–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Smith, P. K. (2007). Why has aggression been thought of as maladaptive? In P. H. Hawley, T. D. Little, & P. C. Rodkin (Eds.), Aggression and adaptation: The bright side to bad behavior (pp. 65–83). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  92. Sullivan, H. S. (1953). The interpersonal theory of psychiatry. Oxford, England: Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  93. Vandell, D. L., & Hembree, S. E. (1994). Peer social status and friendship: Independent contributors to children's social and academic adjustment. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 40(4), 461–477.Google Scholar
  94. Vaughn, B. E., & Santos, A. J. (2007). An evolutionary/ecological account of aggressive behavior and trait aggression in human children and adolescents. In P. H. Hawley, T. D. Little, & P. C. Rodkin (Eds.), Aggression and adaptation: The bright side to bad behavior (pp. 31–63). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  95. Weinstein, M. S. (1969). Achievement motivation and risk preference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 13(2), 153–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. White, R. W. (1959). Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review, 66, 297–333.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  97. Wood, G. (2004). A view from the field: NCLB’s effects on classrooms and schools. In D. Meier & G. Wood (Eds.), Many children left behind: How the No Child Left Behind act is damaging our children and our schools (pp. 33–50). Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  98. Wooley, H. T. (1925). Agnes: A dominant personality in the making. Pedagogical Seminary, 32, 569–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn N Stump
    • 1
  • Jacklyn M Ratliff
    • 1
  • Yelena P Wu
    • 1
  • Patricia H Hawley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

Personalised recommendations