Goals and Concerns

Implications for the Study of Children’s Social Competence
  • Jennifer T. Parkhurst
  • Steven R. Asher
Part of the Advances in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ACCP, volume 8)


Until recently children’s social competence has been defined as children’s ability to accomplish their goals in interaction with others (e.g., Combs & Slaby, 1977; O’Malley, 1977). Thus, for example, researchers have studied the ways in which children join groups (Corsaro, 1981; Putallaz, 1983; Putallaz & Gottman, 1981) or the ways in which they maintain relationships and resolve interpersonal conflicts (e.g., Asher & Renshaw, 1981). This approach to defining and studying social competenc, although valuable and productive, neglects an important aspect of the social world, namely, that social situations are inherently ill-defined and unstructured (Greene, 1976; Renshaw & Asher, 1983) and that a fundamental task confronting a child is to discern which goals should be pursued in social situations.


Social Competence Social Skill Training Aggressive Child Sociometric Status Positive Concern 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer T. Parkhurst
    • 1
  • Steven R. Asher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Bureau of Educational ResearchUniversity of IllinoisChampaignUSA

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