Social Skills and Psychological Adjustment

  • Christopher Campbell
  • David J. Hansen
  • Douglas W. Nangle
Part of the ABCT Clinical Assessment Series book series (ABCT)


Social interactions are an everyday occurrence for individuals of all ages. Indeed, their ubiquity and assumed importance to psychological adjustment have created serious challenges for those attempting to define and understand the nature of social competence. For many, social competence is essentially synonymous with competence in general (e.g., Goldfried & D’Zurilla, 1973; Trower, 1982). This encompassing view of social competence was used to challenge the prevailing disease models of psychopathology and helped give rise to the modern skill training approaches (Ford & Urban, 1998). Social behavior patterns were deemed problematic to the extent they resulted in dysfunction and not because of their presumed links to any form of psychopathology. Since maladaptive patterns were presumed to result from faulty learning, it was also assumed that they could be “corrected” through new learning experiences. With its widened purview, the social competence construct has stimulated an enormous body of related empirical research and therapeutic application. On the downside, however, this very broad view of competence has brought much confusion and a lack of consensus to those attempting to operationally define the construct (see Chapter 2 of this volume). Commenting on its widespread use and connections to so many clinical problems, McFall (1982) questioned whether it was even possible for the construct “to retain any specificity or meaning or utility” (p. 2).


Autism Spectrum Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Social Skill Borderline Personality Disorder Personality Disorder 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Campbell
    • 1
  • David J. Hansen
    • 1
  • Douglas W. Nangle
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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