Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Clinical Psychology Competencies

pp 1563-1588

Peer Problems

  • Gregory A. FabianoAffiliated withUniversity at Buffalo
  • , Rebecca K. VujnovicAffiliated withUniversity at Buffalo
  • , Meaghan E. PariseauAffiliated withUniversity at Buffalo


Peer problems are an issue that cut across diagnostic categories and childhood conditions. Peer problems are a critical target of treatment, as they are a strong predictor of negative long-term outcomes. Currently, there are a number of interventions for peer problems that are supported by research evidence. Notably, these treatments involve working directly with the child in peer settings (e.g., recreational settings, classrooms). Basic competencies for clinicians working to treat peer problems include effective assessment strategies and working with the child in the settings of interest. Advanced strategies include effective supervision of individuals working on peer problems with children and ensuring intervention fidelity, individualizing and tailoring intervention components to address peer problems, and working within systems such as schools or summer treatment programs.