Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Applied Behavior Analysis

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.

Keywords

Social skill acquisition, Adolescent social skills, Life skills training, Social competence, Adolescent training

Abstract

The term social skills has been specifically defined as learned behaviors that allow an individual to engage in socially acceptable interactions with other individuals such that the interactions lead to positive responses from others and aid in the avoidance of negative responses (Elliott & Gresham, 1993). The current study investigated the ability of six adolescent females between the ages of 13 and 16 years to acquire a set of social skills through training. Participants' acquisition of the skills before and after training was assessed through role-play assessments and was experimentally demonstrated using a multiple-baseline across skills design. Secondary survey information (Child Behavior Checklist and adapted Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment) was collected from participants and their parents to attempt to index effects of training on other behaviors of the youth. All of the participants acquired the skills taught and demonstrated them with increased or variable levels of accuracy post-training. Minimal changes in scores were documented on both secondary survey measures.

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