Social Skills

Conceptual and Applied Aspects of Assessment, Training, and Social Validation


Schools represent perhaps the most important setting in which children develop skills in initiating and maintaining interpersonal relationships as well as developing skills that are crucial for peer acceptance. The ability to interact successfully with one’s peers and significant adults is one of the most important aspects of a child’s development (Gresham & Lemanek, 1983). Prominent developmental theorists (e.g., Erikson, 1963; Kohlberg, 1969; Piaget, 1952) have delineated theories of social and moral development in which social competence evolves in a series of interrelated stages that closely parallel chronological and/or mental age. Apparent in practically all developmental theories is the emphasis each places on the social development of school-age children (see Salkind, 1981, for a review).


Social Skill Social Competence Social Skill Training Performance Deficit Social Validity 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, K., Benning, P., Drummond, T. (1972). Integration of normal and handicapped children in a behavior modification preschool: A case study. In G. Semb (Ed.), Behavioral analysis and education. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.Google Scholar
  2. Asher, S. R., Hymel, S. (1981). Children’s social competence in peer relations: Sociometrie and behavioral assessment. In J. D. Wine, M. A. Smye (Eds.), Social competence (pp. 125–157). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  3. Asher, S., Oden, S., Gottman, J. (1977). Children’s friendship in school settings. In L. G. Katz (Ed.), Current topics in early childhood education (Vol. 1). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Baer, D., Wolf, M. (1970). The entry into natural communities of reinforcement. In R. Ulrich, T. Stachnik, J. Mabry (Eds.), Control of human behavior (Vol. 11, pp. 319–324). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.Google Scholar
  5. Ballard, M., Corman, L., Gottlieb, J., Kaufman, M. (1977). Improving the social status of mainstreamed retarded children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 69, 605–611.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1977a). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (1977b). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavior change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Bergan, J. R. (1977). Behavioral consultation. Columbus, OH: Merrill.Google Scholar
  10. Bergan, J., Tombari, M. (1975). The analysis of verbal interactions occurring during consultation. Journal of School Psychology, 13, 209–226.Google Scholar
  11. Bergan, J., Tombari, M. (1976). Consultant skill and efficiency and the implementation and outcomes of consultation. Journal of School Psychology, 14, 3–14.Google Scholar
  12. Black, F. (1985). Social skills assessment for mainstreamed handicapped students: The discriminative efficiency of the Teacher Ratings of Social Skills. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Louisiana State University.Google Scholar
  13. Brophy, J. (1981). Teacher praise: A functional analysis. Review of Educational Research, 51, 5–32.Google Scholar
  14. Bryan, T. S. (1974). Peer popularity of learning disabled children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 7, 621–625.Google Scholar
  15. Bryan, T. S. (1976). Peer popularity of learning disabled children: A replication. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 9, 307–311.Google Scholar
  16. Bryan, T. S. (1978). Social relationships and verbal interactions of learning disabled children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 11, 107–115.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Buhrmester, D. (1982). Children’s Concern Inventory Manual. Unpublished manuscript, University of Denver.Google Scholar
  18. Bursuck, W. D., Asher, S. R. (1986). The relationship between social competence and achievement in elementary school children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 15, 41–49.Google Scholar
  19. Cartledge, G., Milburn, J. (1983). Social skill assessment and teaching in the schools. In T. R. Kratochwill (Ed.), Advances in school psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 175–236). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Catania, C. (1975). The myth of self-reinforcement. Behaviorism, 3, 192–199.Google Scholar
  21. Clark, L., Gresham, F. M., Elliott, S. N. (1985). Development and validation of a social skills assessment measure: The TROSS-C. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 4, 347–356.Google Scholar
  22. Coie, J. D. (1985). Fitting social skills intervention to the target group. In B. H. Schneider, K. H. Rubin, J. E. Ledingham (Eds.), Children’s peer relations: Issues in assessment and intervention. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A. (1983). Continuity of children’s social status: A five-year longitudinal study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29, 261–282.Google Scholar
  24. Coie, J. D., Krehbiel, G. (1984). Effects of academic tutoring on the social status of low-achieving, socially-rejected children. Child Development, 55, 1465–1478.Google Scholar
  25. Coie, J.D., Kupersmidt, J. B. (1983). Behavioral analysis of emerging social status in boys’ groups. Child development, 54, 1400–1416.Google Scholar
  26. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., Coppotelli, H. (1982). Dimensions and types of social status: A cross-age perspective. Developmental Psychology, 18, 557–570.Google Scholar
  27. Cowen, E., Pederson, A., Babigian, L., Trost, M. (1973). Long-term follow-up of early detected vulnerable children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41, 438–446.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Deysach, R. E., Keller, H. R., Ross, A. W., Hiers, T. G. (1975). Social decentering and locus of control in children. The Journal of Psychology, 90, 229–235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Dodge, K. A. (1983). Behavioral antecedents of peer social status. Child Development, 54, 1386–1399.Google Scholar
  30. Dodge, K. A., Coie, J. D., Bradde, N. P. (1982). Behavior patterns of socially rejected and neglected preadolescents: The roles of social approach and aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 10, 389–410.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Dodge, K. A., Schlundt, D. C., Schocken, I., Delugach, J. D. (1983). Social competence and children’s sociometrie status: The role of peer group entry strategies. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29, 309–336.Google Scholar
  32. Erikson, E. (1963). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  33. Foster, S., Ritchey, W. (1979). Issues in the assessment of social competence in children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 12, 625–638.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Frentz, C. (1986). Behavioral correlates of children’s social competence: An investigation of two social skills classification models. Unpublished manuscript, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.Google Scholar
  35. Gottlieb, J. (1975). Attitudes toward retarded children: Effects of labeling and behavioral aggressiveness. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 581–585.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Gottlieb, J., Budoff, M. (1973). Social acceptability of retarded children in nongraded schools differing in architecture. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 78, 15–19.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Gottlieb, J. (1981). Mainstreaming: Fulfilling the promise. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 86, 115–126.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Gottlieb, J., Leyser, Y. (1981). Facilitating the social mainstreaming of retarded children. Exceptional Education Quarterly, 1, 57–70.Google Scholar
  39. Gottman, J. M. (1977). The effects of a modeling film on social isolation in preschool children: A methodological investigation. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 5, 69–78.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Green, K. D., Forehand, R. (1980). Assessment of children’s social skills: A review of methods. Journal of Behavioral Assessment, 2, 143–159.Google Scholar
  41. Green, K. D., Vosk, B., Forehand, R., Beck, S. (1981). An examination of differences among sociometrically identified accepted, rejected, and neglected children. Child Study Journal, 11, 117–124.Google Scholar
  42. Greenspan, S. (1981). Social competence and handicapped individuals: Practical implications and a proposed model. Advances in Special Education, 3, 41–82.Google Scholar
  43. Gresham, F. M. (1981a). Assessment of children’s social skills. Journal of School Psychology, 19, 120–133.Google Scholar
  44. Gresham, F. M. (1981b). Social skills training with handicapped children: A review. Review of Educational Research, 51, 139–176.Google Scholar
  45. Gresham, F. M. (1982a). Misguided mainstreaming: The case for social skills training with handicapped children. Exceptional Children, 48, 420–433.Google Scholar
  46. Gresham, F. M. (1982b). Social skills instruction for exceptional children. Theory Into Practice, 20, 129–133.Google Scholar
  47. Gresham, F. M. (1983a). Social skills assessment as a component of mainstreaming placement decisions. Exceptional Children, 49, 331–336.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Gresham, F. M. (1983b). Social validity in the assessment of children’s social skills: Establishing standards for social competency. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 1, 297–307.Google Scholar
  49. Gresham, F. M. (1984). Social skills and self-efficacy for exceptional children. Exceptional Children, 51, 253–261.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Gresham, F. M. (1985a). Best practices in social skills training. In J. Grimes, A. Thomas (Eds.), Best practices manual (pp. 181–192). Cuyahoga Falls, OH: National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar
  51. Gresham, F. M. (1985b). Utility of cognitive-behavioral procedures for social skills training with children: A review. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 411–423.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Gresham, F. M. (1986). Conceptual and definitional issues in the assessment of children’s social skills: Implications for classification and training. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 15, 16–25.Google Scholar
  53. Gresham, F. M., Elliott, S. N. (1984). Assessment and classification of children’s social skills: A review of methods and issues. School Psychology Review, 13, 292–301.Google Scholar
  54. Gresham, F. M., Elliott, S. N. (1987). The relationship between adaptive behavior and social skills. Journal of Special Education, 21, 167–182.Google Scholar
  55. Gresham, F. M., Elliott, S. N. (in preparation). Social Skills Rating Scales. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  56. Gresham, F. M., Lemanek, K. L. (1983). Social skills: A review of cognitive-behavioral training procedures with children. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 4, 439–461.Google Scholar
  57. Gresham, F. M., Reschly, D. J. (1987). Dimensions of social competence: Method factors in the assessment of adaptive behavior, social skills, and peer acceptance. Journal of School Psychology, 25, 367–387.Google Scholar
  58. Gronlund, H, Anderson, L (1963). Personality characteristics of socially accepted, socially neglected, and socially rejected junior high school pupils. In J Seiderman (Ed.), Educating for mental health. New York: Crowell.Google Scholar
  59. Grossman, H. J. (Ed.). (1983). Classification in mental retardation. Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Deficiency.Google Scholar
  60. Harter, S. (1982). The perceived competence scale for children. Child Development, 53, 87–97.Google Scholar
  61. Hartup, WW (1983). Peer relations: In P. Mussen (Series Ed.), E. Heterington (Vol Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 4: Socialization, personality, and social development (pp. 103–196). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  62. Helsel, W. J., Matson, J. L. (1984). The assessment of depression in children: The internal structure of the Child Depression Inventory (CDI). Behavior Therapy and Research, 22, 289–298.Google Scholar
  63. Hersh, R. H., Walker, H. M. (1983). Great expectations: Making schools effective for all students. Policy Studies Review, 2, 147–188.Google Scholar
  64. Hops, H., Greenwood, C. R. (1981). Social skills deficits. In E. J. Mash, L. G. Terdal (Eds.), Behavioral assessment of childhood disorders (pp. 347–394). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  65. Hughes, J. (1986). Methods of skill selection in social skills training: A Review. Professional School Psychology, 1, 235–248.Google Scholar
  66. Kazdin, A. (1977). Assessing the clinical or applied importance of behavior change through social validation. Behavior Modification, 1, 427–451.Google Scholar
  67. Kazdin, A., Matson, J. (1981). Social validation in mental retardation. Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 2, 39–53.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Keogh, B., Kukic, S., Becker, L., McLoughlin, R., Kukic, M. (1975). School psychologists’ services in special education programs. Journal of School Psychology, 13, 142–146.Google Scholar
  69. Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization. In D. A. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research. Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  70. Kohn, M., Clausen, J. (1955). Social isolation and schizophrenia. American Sociological Review, 20, 265–273.Google Scholar
  71. Krehbiel, G. (1983). Sociometrie status and academic achievement-based differences in behavior and peer-assessed reputation. Unpublished manuscript, Duke University.Google Scholar
  72. Kurdek, L. A., Krile, D. (1983). The relation between third- through eighth-grade children’s social cognition and parents’ ratings of social skills and general adjustment. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 143, 201–206.Google Scholar
  73. Ladd, G. W. (1981). Social networks of popular, average, and rejected children in school settings. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29, 283–307.Google Scholar
  74. Ladd, G. W., Mize, J. A. (1983). A cognitive-social learning model of social skill training. Psychological Review, 2, 127–157.Google Scholar
  75. MacMillan, D., Morrison, G., Silverstein, A. (1980). Convergent and discriminant validity of Project PRIME’S Guess Who? American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 85, 78–81.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. McDowell, J. J. (1982). The importance of Herrnstein’s mathematical statement of the Law of Effect for behavior therapy. American Psychologist, 37, 771–779.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. McFall, R. M. (1982). A review and reformulation of the concept of social skills. Behavioral Assessment, 4, 1–33.Google Scholar
  78. Nelson, R., Hayes, S. (1979). Some current dimensions of behavioral assessment. Behavioral Assessment, 1, 1–16.Google Scholar
  79. Oden, S. L., Asher, S. R. (1977). Coaching children in social skills for friendship making. Child Development, 48, 496–506.Google Scholar
  80. Pellegrini, D. S. (1985). Social cognition and competence in middle childhood. Child Development, 56, 253–264.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Piaget, J. (1952). The moral judgment of the child. New York: Collier.Google Scholar
  82. Putallaz, M. (1983). Predicting children’s sociometrie status from their behavior. Child Development, 54, 1417–1426.Google Scholar
  83. Renshaw, P. D., Asher, S. R. (1983). Children’s goals and strategies for social interaction. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29, 353–374.Google Scholar
  84. Reschly, D. J. (1982). Assessing mild mental retardation: The influence of adaptive behavior, sociocultural status, and prospects for nonbiased assessment. In C. R. Reynolds, T. B. Gutkin (Eds.), Handbook of school psychology (pp. 209–242). New York: Wiley Interscience.Google Scholar
  85. Reschly, DJ, Gresham, FM, Graham-Clay, S (1984). Multi-factored nonbiased assessment: Convergent and discriminant validity of social and cognitive measures with black and white regular and special education students. Washington, DC: United States Department of Education, Grant No. G0081101156, Assistance Catalog No. CFDA: 84–023E.Google Scholar
  86. Reynolds, C, Gutkin, T., Elliott, S., Witt, J. (1984). School psychology: Essentials of theory and practice. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  87. Richard, B. A., Dodge, K. A. (1982). Social maladjustment and problem-solving in school-aged children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 50, 226–233.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  88. Roff, M. (1970). Some life history factors in relation to various types of adult maladjustment. In M. Ross, D. Ricks (Eds.), Life history research in psychopathology. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  89. Roff, M., Sells, B., Golden, M. (1972). Social adjustment and personality adjustment in children. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  90. Rubin, K. H. (1982). Non-social play in preschoolers: Necessary evil? Child Development, 53, 651–657.Google Scholar
  91. Rubin, K. H., Daniels-Bierness, T. (1983). Concurrent and predictive correlates of sociometrie status in kindergarten and grade 1 children. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29, 337–351.Google Scholar
  92. Salkind, N. (1981). Theories of human development (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  93. Schneider, B. H., Byrne, B. M. (1985). Children’s social skills training: A meta-analysis. In B. Schneider, K. Rubin, J. Ledingham (Eds.), Children’s peer relations: Issues in assessment and intervention (pp. 175–192). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  94. Seligman, M. (1975). Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  95. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  96. Spivack, G., Shure, M. (1974). Social adjustment of young children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  97. Stephens, T. M. (1978). Social skills in the classroom. Columbus, Ohio: Cedars Press.Google Scholar
  98. Stokes, T., Baer, D. (1977). An implicit technology of generalization. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 19, 349–367.Google Scholar
  99. Stokes, T., Osnes, P. (1986). Programming the generalization of children’s social behavior. In P. Strain, M. Guralnick, H. Walker (Eds.), Children’s social behavior: Development, assessment, and modification (pp. 407–443). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  100. Strain, P. S., Fox, J. (1981). Peers as behavior change agents for withdrawn classmates. In B. B. Lahey, A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 167–198). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  101. Strain, P. S., Cooke, R. P., Apolloni, T. (1976). Teaching exceptional children: Assessing and modifying social behavior. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  102. Stumme, V. S., Gresham, F. M., Scott, N. A. (1982). Validity of Social Behavior Assessment in discriminating emotionally disabled from nonhandicapped students. Journal of Behavioral Assessment, 4, 327–342.Google Scholar
  103. Taylor, A, Asher, S (1984). Children’s interpersonal goals in game situations. In G. Ladd (Chair), From preschool to high school: Are children’s interpersonal goals and strategies predictive of their social competence? Symposium presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  104. Thorndike, E. L. (1927). Intelligence and its uses. Harper’s Magazine, 140, 227–235.Google Scholar
  105. Tombari, M., Bergan, J. (1978). Consultant cues and teacher verbalizations, judgments, and expectancies concerning children’s adjustment problems. Journal of School Psychology, 16, 217–229.Google Scholar
  106. Ullman, C. (1957). Teachers, peers, and tests as predictors of adjustment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 48,257–267.Google Scholar
  107. Van Houten, R. (1979). Social validation: The evolution of standards for competency for target behaviors. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 12, 581–591.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  108. Voeltz, L., Evans, I. (1982). The assessment of behavioral interrelationships in child behavior therapy. Behavioral Assessment, 4, 131–166.Google Scholar
  109. Vosk, B., Forehand, R., Parker, J. B., Rickard, K. (1982). A multimethod comparison of popular and unpopular children. Developmental Psychology, 18, 795–805.Google Scholar
  110. Walker, H. M., Hops, H. (1976). Use of normative peer data as a standard for evaluating classroom treatment effects. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 9, 159–168.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  111. Walker, H., Rankin, R. (1983). Assessing the behavioral expectations and demands of less restrictive settings. School Psychology Review, 12, 274–284.Google Scholar
  112. Weiner, B. (1979). A theory of motivation for some class-room experiences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 3–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  113. Wheeler, V. A., Ladd, G. W. (1982). Assessment of children’s self-efficacy for social interactions with peers. Developmental Psychology, 18, 795–805.Google Scholar
  114. White, R. (1959). Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review, 66, 287–333.Google Scholar
  115. Witt, JC, Elliott, SN(1985). Acceptability of classroom intervention strategies. In TR Kratochwill (Ed.), Advances in school psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 251–288). Hillsdale; NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  116. Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11,203–214.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

Personalised recommendations