Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties of the Social Skills Questionnaire: Portuguese Adaptation of the Student Form (Grades 7 to 12)

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties of the Social Skills Questionnaire: Portuguese Adaptation of the Student Form (Grades 7 to 12)

Article excerpt

The present study aims to analyze the psychometric properties of the student form (Grades 7 to 12) of the Social Skills Questionnaire authored by Gresham and Elliott (1990), on a sample of Portuguese adolescents. Participants included 573 students, both female and male, aged 14 to 19. Reliability was assessed through Cronbach's alpha and was .87 for the total scale, ranging from.58 to .72 for the subscales. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the main adjustment indices presented unexpected values. A principal components analysis indicated that several items of the cooperation subscale correlated with other factors. Adequate adjustment indices were found when cooperation was removed from the model. Semantic dualities due to cultural factors and difficulties assuming the cooperation dimension as an independent dimension might explain the results observed. The reorganization of the SSQ offers a reliable and valid instrument for research within the Portuguese population.

Keywords: assessment of social skills, Portuguese version for adolescents, confirmatory factor analysis.

El presente estudio ha tenido como objetivo el análisis de las propiedades psicométricas del Cuestionario de Habilidades Sociales (QHS) de Gresham y Elliott (1990), en la versión para estudiantes del 7o al 12o grado escolar. La muestra está compuesta por 573 estudiantes con edades comprendidas entre los 14 y los 19 años de ambos sexos. El análisis de consistencia interna con las dimensiones originales del cuestionario ha revelado un alpha de Cronbach total de .87 y alphas parciales entre .58 y .72. Un primer análisis factorial confirmatorio ha revelado índices inadecuados de ajuste comparativo con el modelo original. El análisis factorial exploratorio en componentes principales confirma una dispersión de los ítems de la dimensión cooperación. La eliminación de la dimensión cooperación mejora substancialmente los índices de ajuste en el análisis confirmatorio posterior. Entre las posibles explicaciones barajadas destacan: las dualidades semánticas, debidas a factores culturales y a dificultades en asumir como independiente la dimensión cooperación. La reorganización del QHS aporta un instrumento válido y fiable para la investigación en la población portuguesa.

Palabras clave: evaluación de las competencias sociales, versión portuguesa para adolescentes, análisis factorial confirmatorio.

The importance of social competence has become increasingly evident in a variety of areas over the past 20 years. Greater attention on social competence has benefited from a variety of factors, including work done in the area of psychotherapy and clinical intervention that has identified and taught specific social behaviors, movements toward teaching assertiveness and affective education in educational psychology, movements toward deinstitutionalization and integration, as well as initiatives promoting regular and inclusive education (Walker, Ramsey, & Gresham, 2004). As a result of these developments, great investments have been made in promoting social competence in children, generally, and at-risk adolescents, in particular.

Social competencies constitute fundamental aspects for the personal and social development of children and adolescents. From early on, children are confronted with the necessity to interact and, more importantly, to be accepted in their interactions. According to Gresham and Elliott (1984), social competencies involve learning socially acceptable behaviors that allow children and adolescents to explore positive relationships with adults and with peer groups. Personal interaction is considered relevant to the acquisition of cognitive concepts, abilities and strategies that affect social development and learning (Coll & Sole, 1995). Satisfactory social interaction between adolescents and their peers and teachers requires an appropriate conjunction of social competencies, or in other words, of different classes of social behaviors, in order to adequately deal with the demands of interpersonal situations (Del Prette & Del Prette, 2003; 2005). …

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