Academic journal article International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Effectiveness of Social Skills Training Experiential Method to Strengthening Social Self Efficacy of University Students

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Effectiveness of Social Skills Training Experiential Method to Strengthening Social Self Efficacy of University Students

Article excerpt

Novelty and Significance

What is already known about the topic?

* Poor social skills negatively affect quality of life and psychological well-being among university students.

* Several studies have showed that Social Skills Training is effective for the improvement of interpersonal and communicational skills.

What this paper adds?

* We examine the impact of both an instructional and experiential training methods on social self-efficacy beliefs.

* The experiential training method increases in a better manner self-efficacy beliefs because this models emphasizes behavioral executions and achievement experiences, which is considered the most powerful self-efficacy source.

As it has been documented, the stimulus equivalence (SE) procedure has been widely The acquisition of social behaviors involves a lifelong learning process: new groups and new contexts bring along changes in social goals, as well as demands for a wider repertoire of interpersonal behaviors. According to Del Prette, Del Prette, and Mendes Barreto (1999), most demands show up in adolescence, since both parents and teachers expect more complex behaviors.

Adolescence is a critical phase in development, of great vulnerability, which culminates when the person leaves the nuclear family for adult society. Changes of vital importance take place at the age in which the individual begins college (generally around 18 or 19 years old), such as leaving the family home, searching for a partner and, occasionally, looking for a job, due to which an appropriate repertoire of social skills (SS) will have a protective effect on the difficulties that the individual will have to face to enter the adult world. Nevertheless, the classic research by Argyle, Bryant and Trower (1974) on social performance between university students already showed that this population had many deficits in social competences.

In Latin America, Abarca, and Hidalgo (1989) observed that 37.3% of Chilean students showed interpersonal difficulties, while in Brazil, Z. Del Prette and Del Prette (1983) found deficits among Psychology students in the following skills: rejecting requests, disagreeing, counter-arguing and defending their own ideas. On the other hand, local research has shown high percentages of Psychology 1 niversity Students with SS deficits and a very low percentage of students with an appropriate repertoire of these skills (Herrera Lestussi, Freytes, López, & Olaz, in press), which could directly affect their psychological well-being, as well as their professional performance.

SS deficits have a direct impact on the university adolescents' life quality, since they are directly related to problems typical of this developmental stage, such as shyness, social anxiety, difficulty to solve problems, and substance abuse. It has also been reported an association between deficits in social competences and academic failure (Heather & Betz, 2000), Attention Deficit Disorder (Canu & Carlson, 2003), and depression (Gable & Shean, 2000). Additionally, the results of different researches have shown that an appropriate repertoire of SS may operate as a protective factor against certain psychosocial pathologies typical of this developmental period.

Jensen-Campbell et al. (2002) found that socially competent adolescents tend to be less vulnerable to victimization by their peers while Deniz, Hamarta, and Ariz (2005) found significant differences in SS and feelings of loneliness between university students who found a partner and those who did not. Those students who had a partner showed a more developed SS repertoire and less feelings of loneliness. Taking into account that an ex post facto study was carried on, the results could also be interpreted as if an appropriate SS repertoire could make access to a partner easier, with a direct impact on the feelings of loneliness in young people.

Finally, Karagözoglu, Kalive, Koc, & Adamisoglu (2008) and León Camargo, Rodríguez Angarita, Ferrel Ortega, & Ceballos Ospino (2009) showed that university students with higher assertiveness also had higher scores in self-esteem tests. …

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