Analysis of Instructional Activities on the Acquisition of Social Skills
Smith, Hallie Marie
The purpose of this study was to determine which of 3 instructional activities, when combined with behavioral skills training (BST) was the most effective at eliciting prosocial behaviors, decreasing maladaptive behaviors, and increasing the occurrence of a target social skill. Additionally, this study sought to determine if this model of group intervention (combining BST with various activities) was an effective approach at addressing social skills deficits of elementary-aged children. Four children, ages 6 to 8 years old, participated in this study, which took place at a university-based school psychology services clinic in the Southeastern United States. Overall, results of this study were variable in that different instructional activities impacted dependent variables in different ways for each participant. When comparing the 3 instructional activities, there were minimal differences in the impact each had on the display of prosocial and maladaptive behaviors. However, parents of the participants in this study reported that this social skills intervention was acceptable and beneficial at addressing social skill deficits in children. Similarly, the participants themselves reported that they liked coming to the group, made new friends in this group, and that they would be happy if they could keep coming to this group. Overall, the findings of this study revealed implications about the inclusion of activities into group social skill intervention sessions as well as the utility of this model of group intervention delivery. Limitations to this study as well as recommendations for future research in this area are discussed.