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Social Skills Training: Should We Raze, Remodel, or Rebuild?
Frank M. Gresham
Vol. 24, No. 1, Special Issue: Emerging Trends and Issues in Research for the Education and Treatment of Children with Behavioral Disorders (November 1998), pp. 19-25
Published by: Council for Exceptional Children
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23888736
Page Count: 7
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The degree to which children and youth establish and maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers is the defining feature of social competence. Difficulties in social competence play a substantial role in social, psychological, and educational adjustment and often serve as the basis for intervention and remediation strategies. This article reviews past and present conceptualizations and summarizes narrative and meta-analytic reviews of social skills training (SST) outcome studies. Overall, modest effect sizes are reported in the meta-analytic literature (M = .35) suggesting that SST is a relatively weak intervention strategy, leading to only a 14% improvement in social functioning over chance (64% versus 50%). Three recommendations are offered as a blueprint for rebuilding SST: (1) improving assessment by considering the social validity and sensitivity of outcome measures; (2) matching social skills intervention strategies to specific social skills deficits; and (3) programming for functional rather than topographical generalization by adopting a contextual approach to teaching social behavior within a competing behaviors framework.
Behavioral Disorders © 1998 Council for Exceptional Children