Social Skills of Children and Adolescents: Conceptualization, Assessment, Treatment

Social Skills of Children and Adolescents: Conceptualization, Assessment, Treatment

Social Skills of Children and Adolescents: Conceptualization, Assessment, Treatment

Social Skills of Children and Adolescents: Conceptualization, Assessment, Treatment

Synopsis

This text synthesizes recent work in the study of the social competence of children and adolescents. It is divided into two parts - the first features a foundation for conceptualizing and assessing child and adolescent social skills, whereas the second focuses on the arena of intervention.

Excerpt

The scientific study and clinical applications of child and adolescent social skills became important and well-established endeavors in the behavioral sciences as well as in the educational and human services arenas during the 1980s and 1990s. The increasing prominence of these applications of child and adolescent social skills is partly because the field has finally matured to the point that there is now an extensive literature base, making it possible to identify the most important scientific and applied components. Another reason for the surge of interest and popularity in this area has resulted from the increasing recognition of the critical importance of social-emotional development to individuals and society in general. In his 1994 best-selling popular book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman persuasively argued that the social-emotional aspects of human functioning have a tremendous impact on individual lives and society and perhaps may be more important to our happiness and success in the long run than intelligence or IQ as it is traditionally defined.

Evidence of this critical impact can be found virtually anywhere in the ruined relationships, academic and occupational failure, and violence and despair that so often characterize the lives of individuals who have serious deficits in social competence or social skills. Knowing that the roots of these social-emotional problems are usually planted firmly in childhood is both troubling and promising: troubling because it underscores the failure of our institutions and families to ensure that all children will realize our hopes for . . .

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