Social Skills and Child Development
The development of social skills in children is receiving an enormous amount of clinical and research attention. Indeed, over 75% of all scientific articles in this area have appeared within the last decade (Michelson & Wood, 1980). The reasons for this sudden growth of interest in children’s social skills can be traced to several factors. First, retrospective investigations have consistently found strong relationships between social competence in childhood and subsequent social, academic, and psychological functioning. Second, although academic institutions have been considered to be major socializing agents for children, few if any social skills training programs have been formally instituted. However, educators have begun to recognize the critical importance of social skills and interpersonal behaviors, which have been found to be requisite for successful life adaptation. Thus, there has been an increased demand for more systematic and effective strategies for the implementation of social skills training programs with children. Third, in schools, children evince a wide variety of unpleasant and maladaptive behaviors. These behaviors are not only aversive to adults in the child’s environment but also have a negative effect on the development of rewarding peer relationships and academic performance. Recognition of these factors has led to the exploration of effective remedial and preventive strategies, among which social skills training is regarded as a viable and potent approach.
KeywordsSocial Skill Social Competency Social Withdrawal Irrational Belief Social Skill Training
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