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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social skills training with learning disabled students : a preventative approach Elliott, Patricia Margaret


A multidimensional study was conducted with learning disabled students to assess the effects of a social skills training program. Included were measures of self-concept, peer acceptance, and social competency as rated by parents and teachers. Forty-six intermediate grade children were evaluated prior to the program and after 13 weeks of either treatment, or no treatment. In addition, evaluation of the effect of different instructors was carried out. It was hypothesized that subjects would demonstrate significant (alpha=.05) increases in positive self-concept, peer acceptance, and ratings of social competency by parents and teachers. Support for this hypothesis was found for parent ratings. A secondary hypothesis was that there would be no significant difference at the .05 level between subjects receiving treatment or the placebo from Instructor A and those receiving treatment or the placebo from Instructor B. Partial confirmation was found on the parent and teacher ratings of social competency. The hypothesis was rejected for peer ratings and self-concept measures. Suggestions for practices in education include: (a) the expanding of social skills training throughout the elementary school by presenting it as a progressive skill building program, (b) ways to interest educators in teaching social behavior, (c) application of social skills assessment and training as a function of the counsellor or school psychologist's role, and (d) the practical logistics of setting up a social skills training program in an educational setting. Implications for future research suggest: (a) ways to refine the present study's design, (b) an examination of social behavior and peer acceptance in both the regular and special education class environments, and (c) the need for further understanding of the developmental stages in social competency.

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