Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

The Use of Individualized Video Modeling to Enhance Positive Peer Interactions in Three Preschool Children

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

The Use of Individualized Video Modeling to Enhance Positive Peer Interactions in Three Preschool Children

Article excerpt


The study described in this article sought to enhance the social interaction skills of 3 preschool children using video modeling. All children had been assessed as having difficulties in their interactions with peers. Two were above average on internalizing problems and the third was above average on externalizing problems. The study used a delayed multiple probe across participants' design and was situated in a preschool setting. Videos were individualized for each participant based on age, gender, ethnicity, and individual needs. The models demonstrated appropriate play behavior with peers. Positive outcomes were achieved for 2 participants. The findings suggest that although the social interaction skills of preschool children can be enhanced in their natural environment through the use of video modeling; video modeling alone might not be sufficient for addressing the needs of children with externalizing problems.

Keywords: preschool children, social skills, video modeling, internalizing, externalizing, social withdrawal


The preschool years are critical for children's social and emotional development. In particular, it is a time where children have the opportunity to learn how to develop and maintain positive peer relationships (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Spinrad, 2006; Hartup, 1983; Howes, 1988). While all children may need some support from time to time to acquire the ability to interact appropriately, for others peer interactions can be particularly challenging (Elliott & Gresham, 1991; McCabe & Altamura, 2011). The reasons for these challenges include language and developmental delays, behavioral disorders, or possibly a lack of knowledge and opportunities to practice the skills (Elliott & Gresham 1993; Webster-Stratton, 1999). These children are at a significant disadvantage in part because of the numerous lost learning opportunities. If they are not able to learn the appropriate skills, they might start to either withdraw from the peer group or begin to behave in a disruptive manner. As a result, they may perpetuate their isolation or they might be rejected by their peers due to their inappropriate behavior (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006). As it is likely that the losses will compound, early intervention for children who are struggling with their peer relationships is of critical importance. This may protect children from potential later maladjustment (Beidel & Turner, 2005; Feldman, 2004; Rose-Krasnor, 1997).

Video modeling (VM) and video self-modeling (VSM) are promising evidence-based approaches that have been used extensively with children who have diagnosed disabilities (Baker, Lang, & O'Reilly, 2009; Bellini & Akullian, 2007; Buggey & Ogle, 2012; Fragale, 2014; Losinski, Wiseman, White, & Balluch, 2016); however, they have not been as widely used in ostensibly typically developing populations of children who may be showing some internalizing or externalizing problems. The aim of this study was to extend the literature by evaluating the use of an individualized video modeling intervention aimed at improving the positive social interactions of three preschool children.

Sustaining positive social interactions requires the ability to integrate a number of developmentally appropriate micro-level social skills, such as observing others at play before initiating an interaction and maintaining those social interactions. Furthermore, in order to maintain positive social interactions, children need to know how to share, cooperate, take turns, negotiate roles, activities and resources, and manage conflict and emotions (Girolametto & Weitzman, 2007; Ladd, 1990). Taken together, these specific social skills appear to form an important foundation for the development of a broader more global level of social competence as shown by the ability to interact positively with peers (Rose-Krasnor, 1997).

There is evidence to suggest that the complexity of learning how to engage in positive social interactions with peers should be matched with a visual and dynamic display of the nuances associated with social interaction (O'Connor, 1969; 1972). …

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