Promoting Children’s Social Skills and Adaptive Interpersonal Behavior

  • Roger P. Weissberg
  • Joseph P. Allen


We initially accepted the invitation to write a chapter entitled “The Prevention of Social Adjustment Disorders in Children” with little thought about the difficulties we would encounter in determining its specific content. We began to sense our plight as we attempted, unsuccessfully, to define “social adjustment disorder.”


Social Skill Social Adjustment Social Skill Training Coaching Program Behavioral Rehearsal 
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. Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. S. (1978). The classification of child psychopathology: A review and analysis of empirical efforts. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 1275–1301.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albee, G. W. (1982). Preventing psychopathology and promoting human potential. American Psychologist, 37, 1043–1051.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albee, G. W. (1985). The answer is prevention. Psychology Today, 19, 60–64.Google Scholar
  4. Allen, G. J., Chinsky, J. M., Larcen, S. W., Lochman, J. E., & Selinger, H. V. (1976). Community psychology and the schools: A behaviorally oriented multilevel preventive approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. American Psychiatric Association. (1968). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 2nd ed. ). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 3rd ed. ). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  7. Asarnow, J. R., & Callan, J. W. (1985). Boys with peer adjustment problems: Social cognitive processes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 80–87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Asher, S. R., & Hymel, S. (1981). Children’s social competence in peer relations: Sociometric and behavioral assessment. In J. D. Wine & M. D. Smye (Eds.), Social competence (pp. 125–157 ). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Asher, S. R., Markell, R. A., & Hymel, S. (1981). Identifying children at risk in peer relations: A critique of the rate-of-interaction approach to assessment. Child Development, 52, 1239–1245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Asher, S. R., & Renshaw, P. D. (1981). Children without friends: Social knowledge and social skill training. In S. R. Asher & J. M. Gottman (Eds.), The development of children’s friendships (pp. 273–296 ). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  12. Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bierman, K. L., & Furman, W. (1984). The effects of social skills training and peer involvement in the social adjustment of preadolescents. Child Development, 55, 151–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cartledge, G., & Milburn, J. F. (1980). Teaching social skills to children: Innovative approaches. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  15. Clarizio, H. F., & McCoy, G. F. (1983). Behavior disorders in children ( 3rd ed. ). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  16. Coie, J. D., & Dodge, K. A. (1983). Continuities and changes in children’s social status: A five year longitudinal study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 29, 261–282.Google Scholar
  17. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., & Coppotelli, H. (1982). Dimensions and types of social status: A cross-age perspective. Developmental Psychology, 18, 557–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Combs, M. L., & Slaby, D. A. (1977). Social skills training with children. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 161–201 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  20. Comer, J. (1980). School power. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  21. Conger, J. C., & Keane, S. P. (1981). Social skills intervention in the treatment of isolated or withdrawn children. Psychological Bulletin, 90, 478–495.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cowen, E. L. (1983). Community mental health and primary prevention. In I. B. Weiner (Ed.), Clinical methods in psychology ( 2nd ed. ). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  23. Cowen, E. L., Gesten, E. L., & Weissberg, R. P. (1980). An interrelated network of preventively oriented school-based mental health approaches. In R. H. Price & P. Politser (Eds.), Evaluation and action in the community context (pp. 173–210 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Cowen, E. L., Orgel, A. R., Gesten, E. L., & Wilson, A. B. (1979). The evaluation of an intervention program for young school children with acting-out problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 7, 381–396.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cowen, E. L., Pederson, A., Babigian, H., Izzo, L. D., & Trost, M. A. (1973). Long-term follow-up of early detected vulnerable children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41, 438–446.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cowen, E. L., Spinell, A., Wright, S., & Weissberg, R. P. (1983). Continuing dissemination of a school- based mental health program. Professional Psychology, 13, 118–127.Google Scholar
  27. Durlak, J. A. (1983). Social problem-solving as a primary prevention strategy. In R. D. Feiner, L. A. Jason, J. N. Moritsugu, & S. S. Farber (Eds.), Preventive psychology (pp. 31–48 ). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  28. Elias, M. J., Gara, G., Ubriaco, M., Rothbaum, P. A., Clabby, J.F., & Schuyler, T. (in press). Impact of a preventive social problem-solving intervention on children’s coping with middle-school stressors. American Journal of Community Psychology.Google Scholar
  29. Finch, M., & Hops, H. (1982). Remediation of social withdrawal in young children: Considerations for the practitioner. Children & Youth Services, 5, 29–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Furman, W. (1980). Promoting social development: Developmental implications for treatment. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 1–40 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  31. Furman, W. (1984). Enhancing children’s peer relations and friendships. In S. W. Duck (Ed.), Personal relationships V: Repairing personal relationships (pp. 103–126 ). London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  32. Gesten, E. L., Rains, M., Rapkin, B. D., Weissberg, R. P., Flores de Apodaca, R., Cowen, E. L., & Bowen, R. (1982). Training children in social problem-solving competencies: A first and second look. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 95–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gresham, F. M., & Nagle, R. J. (1980). Social skills training with children: Responsiveness to modeling and coaching as a function of peer orientation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 18, 718–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hartup, W. W. (1983). Peer relations. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development (pp. 103–196 ). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  35. Hawkins, J. D., & Weis, J. G. (1983). The social development model: An integrated approach to delinquency prevention. In R. J. Rubel (Ed.), Juvenile delinquency prevention: Emerging perspectives of the 1980s. San Marcos, TX: Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, Southwest Texas State University.Google Scholar
  36. Hobbs, N. (1982). The troubled and troubling child. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  37. Hollister, W. G. (1983). Should the development and administration of community primary prevention be transferred from mental health agencies to education? Journal of Primary Prevention, 4, 66–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hops, H. (1982). Social skills training for socially isolated children. In P. Karoly & J. Steffen (Eds.), Enhancing children’s competencies. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  39. Hopper, R., & Kirschenbaum, D. S. (1985). Social problem-solving and social competence in preadolescents: Is inconsistency the hobgoblin of little minds? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 9, 685–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hymel, S., & Rubin, K. H. (1985). Children with peer relationship and social skill problems: Conceptual, methodological, and developmental issues. In G. J. Whitehurst. (Ed.), Annals of child development (Vol. 2, pp. 251–287 ). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  41. Kazdin, A. E. (1983). Psychiatric diagnosis, dimensions of dysfunction, and child behavior therapy. Behavior Therapy, 14, 73–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kendall, P. C., & Hollon, S. D. (1983). Calibrating the quality of therapy: Collaborative archiving of tape samples from therapy outcome trials. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 7, 199–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kendall, P. C., & Morison, P. (1984). Integrating cognitive and behavioral procedures for the treatment of socially isolated children. In A. W. Meyers & W. E. Craighead (Eds.), Cognitive behavior therapy with children (pp. 261–288 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  44. Kirschenbaum, D. S., & Ordman, A. M. (1984). Preventive interventions for children: Cognitive behavioral perspectives. In A. W. Meyers & W. E. Craighead (Eds.), Cognitive behavior therapy for children ( 377–409 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  45. Klausmeier, H. J. (1976). Instructional design and the teaching of concepts. In J. R. Levin & V. L. Allen (Eds.), Cognitive learning in children: Theories and strategies. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  46. Ladd, G. W. (1981). Effectiveness of a social learning method for enhancing children’s social interaction and peer acceptance. Child Development, 52, 171–178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ladd, G. W., & Asher, S. R. (1985). Social skills training and children’s peer relations: Current issues in research and practice. In L. L. Abate & M. Milan (Eds.), Handbook of social skill training. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  48. Ladd, G. W., & Mize, J. (1983). A cognitive-social learning model of social skill training. Psychological Review, 90, 127–157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Marchione, K., Michelson, L., & Mannarino, A. (1983). Behavioral, cognitive, and combined treatments for socially maladjusted school children. Unpublished manuscript, University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  50. McClure, L. F., Chinsky, J. M., & Larcen, S. W. (1978). Enhancing social problem-solving performance in an elementary school setting. Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, 504–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Michelson, L., & Mannarino, A. T. (1986). Social skills training with children: Research and clinical application. In P. S. Strain, J. M. Guralnick, & H. Walker (Eds.), Children’s social behavior: Development, assessment, and modification. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  52. Michelson, L., & Wood, R. (1980). Behavioral assessment and training of children’s social skills. In M. Hersen, P. Miller, & R. Eisler (Eds.), Progress in behavior modification (Vol. 9, pp. 241–292 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  53. Oden, S. L., & Asher, S. R. (1977). Coaching children in social skills for friendship making. Child Development, 48, 495–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Parker, J. G., & Asher, S. R. (1985). Peer acceptance and later personal adjustment: Are low-accepted children “at risk”? Unpublished manuscript. University of Illinois, Department of Psychology, Urbana-Champaign.Google Scholar
  55. Pedro-Carroll, J. L., & Cowen, E. L. (1985). The Children of Divorce Intervention Project: An investigation of the efficacy of a school-based prevention program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Pschology, 53, 603–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pellegrini, D., & Urbain, E. S. (1985). An evaluation of interpersonal cognitive problem-solving training efforts with children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 17–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. President’s Commission on Mental Health. (1978). Report to the President (Vol. 1 ). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  58. Prevention Task Panel Report. (1978). Task panel reports submitted to the President’s Commission on Mental Health (Vol. 4 ). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  59. Putallaz, M., & Gottman, J. (1983). Social relationship problems in children: An approach to intervention. In B. B. Lahey and A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 6, pp. 1–44 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  60. Renshaw, P. D. (1981). The roots of current peer interaction research: A historical analysis of the 1930s. In S. R. Asher & J. M. Gottman (Eds.), The development of the children’s friendships (pp. 1–25 ). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  61. 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Roff, J. D., & Wirt, R. D. (1984). Childhood social adjustment, adolescent status, and young adult mental health. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 54, 595–602.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Roff, M., Sells, S. B., & Golden, M. M. (1972). Social adjustment and personality development in children. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  64. Rotheram, M.J. (1982). Variations in children’s assertiveness due to trainer assertion level. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 228–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rubin, K. H. (1983). Recent perspectives on sociometric status in childhood: Some introductory remarks. Child Development, 54, 1383–1385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rubin, K., & Krasnor, L. R. (in press). Social cognitive and social behavioral perspectives in problem solving. In N. Perlmutter (Ed.), The Minnesota symposium on Child Psychology. (Vol. 18). Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  67. Rutter, M., & Shaffer, D. (1980). DSM-III: A step forward or back in terms of the classification of childhood psychiatric disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 19, 371–394.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sarason, S. B. (1981). An asocial psychology and a misdirected clinical psychology. American Psychologist, 36, 827–836.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sarason, S. B. (1982). The culture of the school and the problem of change ( 2nd ed. ). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  70. Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem-solving in young children: A cognitive approach to prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341–356.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Slavin, R. E. (1983). When does cooperative learning increase student achievement? Psychological Bulletin, 94, 429–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sparrow, S. S., Baila, D. A., & Cicchetti, D. V. (1984). Vine land Adaptive Behavior Scales. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  73. Spivack, G., & Shure, M. B. (1974). Social adjustment of young children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  74. Spivack, G., & Shure, M. B. (1982). The cognition of social adjustment: Interpersonal cognitive problem- solving thinking. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in child clinical psychology (Vol. 5, pp. 323–372 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  75. Thomson-Roundtree, P., & Musun-Baskett, L. (1984). A further examination of Project AWARE: The relationship between teacher behaviors and changes in student behavior. Journal of School Psychology, 19, 260–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Urbain, E. S., & Kendall, P. C. (1980). Review of social-cognitive problem-solving interventions with children. Psychological Bulletin, 8, 109–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Walker, H. M., Hops, H., & Greenwood, C. R. (1981). RECESS: Research and development of a behavior management package for remediating social aggression in the school setting. In P. Strain (Ed.), The utilization of classroom peers as behavior change agents (pp. 261–303 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  78. Wanlass, R. L., & Prinz, R. J. (1982). Methodological issues in conceptualizing and treating childhood social isolation. Psychological Bulletin, 92, 39–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Weissberg, R. P. (1985). Developing effective social problem-solving programs for the classroom. In B. Schneider, K. H. Rubin, & J. Ledingham (Eds.), Peer relationships and social skills in childhood (Vol. 2, pp. 225–242 ). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  80. Weissberg, R. P., & Gesten, E. L. (1982). Considerations for developing effective school-based social problem- solving training programs. School Psychology Review, 11, 56–63.Google Scholar
  81. Weissberg, R. P., Gesten, E. L., Carnrike, C. L., Toro, P. A., Rapkin, B. D., Davidson, E., & Cowen, E. L. (1981). Social problem-solving skills training: A competence building intervention with second- to fourth-grade children. American Journal of Community Psychology, 9, 411–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Weissberg, R. P., Gesten, E. L., Rapkin, B. D., Cowen, E. L., Davidson, E., Flores de Apodaca, R., & McKim, B. J. (1981). The evaluation of a social problem-solving training program for suburban and inner-city third-grade children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 251–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Zigler, E., Kagan, S. L., & Muenchow, S. (1982). Preventive intervention in the schools. In C. R. Reynolds & T. B. Gutkin (Eds.), The handbook of school psychology (pp. 774–795 ). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger P. Weissberg
    • 1
  • Joseph P. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations