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Thompson, Jessica Anne.
Social skills training with typically developing adolescents :
b measurement of skill acquisition
h [electronic resource] / Jessica Anne Thompson.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
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.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 53 pages.
Adviser: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.
Social skill acquisition.
Adolescent social skills.
Life skills training.
x Applied Behavior Analysis
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Social Skills Training with Typically Deve loping Adolescents: Measurement of Skill Acquisition by Jessica Anne Thompson A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate School University of South Florida Major Professor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D. Stacie Neff, M.S. Maricel Cigales, Ph.D. Date of Approval: March 26, 2008 Keywords: Social skill acqui sition, Adolescent social skills Life skills training, Social competence, Adolescent training Copyright 2008, Jessica Anne Thompson
For all my friends, family members, and friends who became like family members that endlessly believed in me, always supported me in my hard work, and who (almost) loved every minute of it. Without each of you this success would not have been possible.
Acknowledgements I would like to extend si ncere thanks to all the faculty a nd staff that helped guide me to this culmination of my best academic work. Dr. Kimberly Crosland, Stacie Neff, Dr. Ray Miltenberger, Dr. Maricel Cigales, thank you for providing me with endless guidance in the planning, implementation, and completion of this project. Your inspiration and encouragement from start to finish undoubtedly prepared me for the next phases of my career. I appreciate you a ll for sharing your academic and professional wisdom, each with your individual styles and flair.
i Table of Contents List of Tables ii List of Figures iii Abstract iv Introduction 1 Method 6 Participants and Setting 6 Training and Skills 7 Assessment Procedures 12 Response Measurement and Experimental Design 14 Interobserver Agreement 14 Parent and Participant Survey Measures 15 Results 19 Social Skills 19 Child Behavior Checklist 26 Tell Us What You Think! 28 Discussion 30 References 37 Appendices 40 Appendix A: List of Steps for Each Social Skill 41 Appendix B: Description of Coercives 43 Appendix C: Baseline Tell Us What You Think! (Questions adapted from ACLSA) 46 Appendix D: Post-Training and 4-week follow-up Tell US What You Think! (Social Validity and Questi ons Adapted from ACLSA) 48 Appendix E: Skill Checklists 51
ii List of Tables Table 1 Description of Skills in Curriculum 10 Table 2 Participant Preand Post-traini ng Average Percentages for Each Skill 19 Table 3 Preand Post-training CBCL Competence Scales Scores 27 Table 4 Preand Post-training CBCL Syndrome Scales Scores 28 Table 5 Participant Pr eand Post-training Tell Us What You Think! Survey Scores 29 Table 6 Differences in Average Scores for Pivot Post-training Role-play #2 34
iii List of Figures Figure 1. Brenna Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly 20 Figure 2. Cara Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly 21 Figure 3. Shawna Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly 23 Figure 4. Norah Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly 24 Figure 5. Kerry Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly 25 Figure 6. Colleen Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly 26
iv Social Skills Training with Typically De veloping Adolescents: Measurement of Skill Acquisition Jessica Anne Thompson ABSTRACT The term social skills has b een specifically defined as le arned behaviors that allow an individual to engage in socially acceptable in teractions 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. ParticipantsÂ’ acquisition of the skills before and after training was assessed through role-play assessments and wa s experimentally demonstrated using a multiple-baseline across skills de sign. 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 traini ng on other behaviors of the youth. All of the particip ants acquired the skills taught and demonstrated them with increased or variable levels of accuracy pos t-training. Minimal changes in scores were documented on both secondary survey measures.
1 Introduction Children and adolescents engage in soci al behavior daily. For some children, social interactions seem to occur effortle ssly, and social relati onships form and may subsequently bloom. Other children, however lack social competence and skill and, in turn, may experience academic difficulties (E lliot, Malecki, & Demaray, 2001), behavior problems (Gaffney & McFall, 1981), and psychological challenges (Segrin, 2000). Social competence is described by Bierman and Welsh (2000) as the ability of a child to organize behavioral, cognitive, and affective sk ills and then utilize them across an array of social situations. Similarly, Elliott and Gresham (1993) specifically define social skills as learned behaviors that allow an indivi dual to Â“engage in socially acceptable interactions with other people such that the interactions l ead to positive responses from others and aid in the avoidance of negative responses.Â” (p. 287) Elliott, Malecki, and Demaray (2001) report that social skills are im portant in many aspects of an individualÂ’s life, including for social and academic success. Spence (2003) explains that the process of social skills training aims to increase an individualÂ’s Â“ability to perform key social behaviors that are im portant in achieving success in social situations.Â” (p. 84) With this in mind, the purpose of social skills training might be thought of as a program th at is designed to a ssist individuals in assembling and strengthening a repertoire of socially acceptable and efficient social behaviors that take the place of inappropriate behavior and increase the social
2 competence of the individual. Social skills training can be conceptualized as training designed to compensate for social skill deficits in a similar way as an individual would work to compensate for other skill deficits, su ch as training or teac hing an individual to tie her shoes. Social skills research has been conduct ed with participants of many ages and populations including aggressive children and adolescents (Nangle, Erdley, Carpenter, & Newman 2002), juveniles who display deli nquent behavior (Gaffney & McFall, 1981), substance-abusing and substance-dependent ju venile offenders (Henggeler, Clingempeel, Brondino, & Pickrel, 2002), at-risk and antis ocial children and youth (Bullis, Walker, & Sprague et al., 2001), and typi cally developing elementary school children in a group training format (Hemphill, & Littlefield, 2001). Socials skills research has been conduc ted with juveniles who exhibit delinquent behavior and those involved within the juvenile justice system (Gaffney and McFall, 1981; Mathur and Rutherford, 1996). Mathur and Rutherford (1996) report that social skills training has proven effective as an intervention for youth with severe delinquent behaviors. The authors argue that failure to develop the appropriate skills needed for social interaction and problem solving in sp ecific social situations may lead to youth engaging in delinquent behavior Ollendick and Hersen (197 9) sought to investigate the effects of a social skills training course on so cial skills behavior and self-report of anxiety related to social behavior w ith a group of incarcerated youth. Researchers taught a social skills training course to a group of 27 delinquent youth who were incarcerated. Techniques utilized in the trai ning package were direct inst ruction, behavioral rehearsal of social situations, and modeling and feedback. Activ e role-plays were also
3 incorporated in a way that allowed for the entire group to provide feedback and social reinforcement to participants immediately following their role-play demonstrations. Study results showed that the social skills training group learned a higher number of interpersonal skills, and repor ted less anxiety regarding social interactions when compared to both the discussion and control groups. While research shows that diverse populations may be effectively taught social skills through social skills training program s, the purpose of the current study is to examine the extent to which social skills can be learned by, and are helpful at promoting increased positive social interactions for, typi cally developing adolescents. It appears, based on varied research within the literature, that there is no standard program for social skills training for this population. The most common elements among social skills training programs are cognitive components such as self-regulation and social interpretation training, (Nangle, Erdley, Carpenter, & Newman, 2002; Spence, 2003) and behavioral components like direct instruction, modeling, feedback, and behavioral rehearsal (Elliott, Malecki, & Demara y, 2001; Gresham & Nagle, 1980; La Greca & Santogrossi, 1980; Mathur & Rutherford, 1996; Nangle, Erdley, Carpenter, & Newman, 2002;Ollendick & Hersen, 1979; Spence, 2003). Other similar group trainings that have been conducted with parents utilize similar behavioral components during tr aining. VanCamp et al. (in pr ess) conducted a two-part study using a positive parenting training curriculum developed by the Behavior Analysis Services Program (BASP). This study us ed a combination of common behavioral training components including direct instru ction, modeling, feedback and behavioral rehearsal. This investigation assessed to what extent class participants were able to
4 acquire specific behavioral caregiving skills that were based on the principles of operant conditioning. Researchers utilized repeated measures and a multiple baseline design to demonstrate experimental control in this st udy. Foster parents participated and were taught either seven or nine parenting Tools, from the BASPÂ’s Tools for Positive Behavior Change, through either a six-hour tr aining (two participants) or thirty-hour training (two participants) respectively. These Tools are behavior analytic behavior management parenting skills. Researchers utilized pre-as sessment task-analyzed role-play scenarios designed for each specific Tool to assess the level of accuracy of parenting skills before and after training. Novel role-plays were us ed throughout the training to rule out possible improvement in accuracy from the participantÂ’ s repeated role-play of the initial role-play scenarios. Results showed that participan ts demonstrated low levels of skill accuracy prior to training. After training, participants demonstrated the Tools with increased levels of accuracy compared to their pre-training scores. These findings suggest that the Tools or skills taught could be learned by adults. Other research by Crosland et al. (in pre ss), which taught the same group of skills to caregivers, suggests that the Tools helped to increase posi tive interactions between children and caregivers and to decrease ne gative interactions between children and caregivers. Since these skills from the Tools curriculum are based on the basic principles of operant conditioning, which are effective for all humans (Skinner, 1953 & 1974), it is reasonable to predict that if the skills were in structed in a way that makes them applicable for use by adolescents, they could be used by the adolescents in their interactions with others as social skills and would teach them to engage in more positive, and fewer negative interactions with others. The current investigation attempts, via a systematic
5 replication of VanCamp et al. (i n press), to measure the extent to which similar skills can be learned by a group of adolescents and demonstrated through repeated role-play sessions.
6 Method Participants and Setting To recruit participants, an email briefly explaining the training with a flyer attached was sent to each empl oyee of the University of South FloridaÂ’s Florida Mental Health Institute. The study flyer was approve d by the UniversityÂ’s Institutional Review Board. The email was subsequently forwar ded by employees throughout the community. Parents who received the email or flyer contact ed the lead investigat or of the project. Inclusion criteria for the trai ning were: (a) Female particip ants between the ages of 13 and 17 years with no diagnosed or suspected me ntal health or developmental disability, (b) Willingness to participate as confirmed in writing on the informed consent (participantÂ’s parents) and informed assent (participants) forms, (c) Attendance at the three study visits. Prior re search by Hannon & Ratliffe ( 2007) found that single-gender classes may maximize studentsÂ’ opportunitie s for participation, which may lead to increased learning of the skills. Therefore, only female participants were recruited to ensure the class was comprised of individuals of only one gender. All participants and trainers were female for this study. Six typically developing female adolescen ts, between the ages of 13 and 16 years were recruited to participate in the social skills training study. Brenna was Caucasian, age 13, lived with her single mother and two younger siblings. Cara was AfricanAmerican, age 14, lived with both her mother and father and had one younger sibling.
7 Shawna was Caucasian, age 14, lived with her mother, step-father and younger stepbrother. Norah was Caucasian, age 15, lived with her adoptive mother and father and five adoptive siblings. Kerry, the oldest pa rticipant, was African-American, age 16, lived with her mother and younger sibling. Co lleen was Hispanic, age 13, lived with her mother, step-father and 3 younger siblings. Al l participants lived within a five-county radius of the Tampa Bay, Florida area. The mean annual income for participantsÂ’ families was between $50,000 and $60,000. The classroom portion of the social skills training was held in a large meeting room on the University of South FloridaÂ’s Tampa campus. Participants were each randomly assigned to a seat at a group of tabl es set up in a Â“u-shap eÂ”. Each participant was seated so that they could clearly see the trainer, the projected presentation slides and the flip chart. The primary investigator of the study was the lead trainer and stood in the front of the training room. Two other co-train ers were present and sat at the ends of the Â“u-shapedÂ” tables. These co-trainers assi sted the lead trainer throughout the class by delivering prizes to participan ts, assisting with role-plays and handing out activities and paperwork. The assistant co-t rainers ran the role-play groups and collected data only, but did not actively participate in the classroom portion of the trai ning and sat in the back of the room out of immediate view of the partic ipants. Participants had name cards, 3-ring binders, and pens at th eir seat upon arrival. Training and Skills Training was conducted in a one-day work shop format over the course of six hours. Lecture-style direct instruction, accomp anied by projected slides, was utilized for training. In addition, training included the us e of modeling and fee dback, role-playing,
8 and delivering positive consequences (e.g. tangib le items, prizes) for participation. These modalities have been shown to be effective in training social skills in prior studies (Elliott, Malecki, & Demaray, 2001; Gresham & Nagle, 1980; La Greca & Santogrossi, 1980; Mathur & Rutherford, 1996; Nangle, Erdley, Carpenter, & Newman, 2002; Ollendick & Hersen, 1979; Spence, 2003). Pa rticipants were encouraged to actively participate by giving examples, asking ques tions, and answering questions presented in class. Positive consequences were delivered during class in the form of tangible items (e.g., candy, small prizes, and Â“ticketsÂ” for a drawing at the end of class) on an intermittent schedule contingent on appropr iate class participation (e.g., providing examples from their own lives, answer ing questions, making related comments). The social skills training curriculum used for instruction was a modified version of a parent training curriculum utilized by VanCamp et al. (in press). The parent training curriculum is a set of pare nting skills known as the Tools for Positive Behavior Change and was created by the Behavior Analysis Se rvices Program (BASP) The BASP is a state-funded program that began in 1996, which seeks to increase placement stability for children in foster care and to e xpand the role of behavior analys is within foster care in the state of Florida (VanCamp, Borrero, & Vollmer, 2003). The Tools developed by this program are currently state funded and taught to parents, caregivers and other staff on a statewide level in Florida. The skills from this parent training curriculum that were modified and instructed during this study included task-analyzed procedures that utilized the behavioral techniques of reinforcement, extinction and differential reinforcement. Reinforcement involves providing preferre d consequences after the occurrence of appropriate behavior thereby in creasing the probability that the behavior is more likely to
9 occur again in similar situations in the fu ture. Extinction, in c ontrast, involves the withholding of a reinforcer (e .g., attention, activities) foll owing a behavior that has previously been reinforced in similar situati ons in the past. Within the BASP curriculum, and commonly in the practice of behavior an alysis and behavior plans, extinction is typically paired with another behavioral principle underlying the skills, differential reinforcement. Differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior involves delivering reinforcement following a desirable be havior while simultaneously withholding reinforcement for other undesirable behaviors. As a result, the desira ble behavior is more likely to occur in similar situations in the future. The skills from the BASP curriculum that were used for the current study were Stay Close Use Reinforcement, and Pivot. (See Table 1 for behavi oral rationales for the use of these skills). Mattai ni and Mcguire (2006) discuss the need for social skills trainings and behavioral inte rventions for young people to be socially significant for individuals and be appropriate for teaching on a large scale or Â“universalÂ” community of youth. With this in mind, as an attempt to promote use of the skills by the class participants and to increase social significance, the curriculum used to teach these skills was modified so that it was more applicab le for youth. The training for this study was titled Teaching Outstanding Positive Interact ions and Communications (TOPIC). During training, skills were instructed using age-relevant situations. For example, in the parent training class the skill Stay Close might be taught and suggested to parents to be used when one of their children comes home fr om school and looks sad. For this study however, the skill Stay Close was explained in class through age-relevant situations such as when one of the participantÂ’s friends ju st broke up with her boyf riend and looks sad.
10 The steps of the skills Stay Close and Pivot remained consistent w ith the parent training curriculum used by VanCamp et al. and only diff ered in examples and explanations used during instruction (See Appendix A for a list of steps for each of the skills that were taught). The Use Reinforcement skill had one fewer step than that of the parent training curriculum. Since the skill Use Reinforcement is used with others when they are engaging in some appropriate or preferred behavior, junk behavior does not typically occur during the interactions when the skills is being used. Ther efore, scripted junk behavior was not included in the role-play scenarios used to assess this skill. This made the step not applicable and it was re moved from that skill checklist. Table 1. Description of Skills In Curriculum Skill Name Behavioral Procedure/Rationale Stay Close Non-contingent or contingent attention/Used to make an individualÂ’s approval and disapproval important to the another individual thus establishing their attention as a reinforcer Use Reinforcement Positive reinforcement in the form of praise or access to desired item s or activities/Used to strengthen desira ble behavior and weaken undesirable behavior Pivot Extinction of attent ion maintained behavior and reinforcement for desired behavior/Used to redu ce inappropriate or problem behavior and increase appropriate behavior The first skill, Stay Close consisted of having the adolescent engage in a conversation with a peer usi ng pleasant, non-threatening faci al expressions, appropriate tone of voice and body language (tone and body language that matches the situation), while asking open-ended positive questions and providing empathy for their peerÂ’s current situation. Open-ended questions are th ose that cannot be answered with a Â“yesÂ”
11 or Â“noÂ”. An example of an open-ended que stion is, Â“What are you going to do tonight?Â” Empathy involved using specific statements that mirror the other pers onÂ’s feelings about the situation. Â“You look really upset.Â” is an example of an empathy statement that could be used when someone is reporting something sa d. Participants were also asked to ignore minor, non-harmful inappropriate behavior fr om their peers (e.g., ro lling eyes, cursing, having an Â“attitudeÂ”). (This step also is in cluded in the other two skills discussed below.) The training curriculum referred to these types of behaviors as Â“junkÂ” behaviors throughout the course of the class. The pro cess of ignoring Â“junkÂ” behavior could result in a decrease in this behavior if attention wa s the maintaining variab le (e.g., extinction of attention maintained behavior). The second skill that was taught was Use Reinforcement. This skill teaches participants to provide positive consequences to individuals with whom they interact immediately following appropriate behavior fr om those individuals. By providing those consequences contingent on de sirable behavior they may ma ke the desirable behavior more likely to occur again in the future. For example, a participant may say to a friend who lends her a sweater on a cold day in cla ss, Â“Hey, thanks so much for letting me borrow your sweater. ItÂ’s freezing in here!Â”. The final skill for training was Pivot a differential reinforcement skill. In this skill, participants were instructed to ignore non-harmful and minor inappropriate behavior from their friends and family until the inappropriate behavior stopped. Once the problem behavior stopped and more appropriate behavior began, the participants were instructed to attend to the individual, who was now engaging in some appropriate behavior. When using Pivot with more than one person pres ent, the participant may have
12 Â“pivotedÂ” to the person doing appropriat e behavior until the person engaging in inappropriate behavior stopped doing that beha vior and engaged in a new and appropriate behavior. If only one individual was in the presence of the participant and was engaging in inappropriate Â“junkÂ” behavior, the particip ant may have continued to engage in an interaction with that person while ignoring th e inappropriate behavior. For example, if the participant was engaged in conversation w ith a parent who was Â“having an attitudeÂ” (e.g., threatening facial grimaces, using inappr opriate tone of voice, using inappropriate language, making criticizing statements) with th em, they would be instructed to continue with the conversation showing no re action to the Â“junkÂ” behavior. As in the skill Pivot participants were asked to ignore Â“junkÂ” beha vior and to avoid using coercion in the skills Stay Close and Use Reinforcement as well. These are two common components with a ll three skills. Coercive interactions are those interactions that may lead to avoidance, vengeful or escape behaviors from the person who is being coerced (See Appendix B for a Description of the Specific Coercives defined for the current study). Sidman (2000) states that coercion is Â“how most people try to control each other.Â” (p. 2) He more specifically defines coercion as the use of punishment and threats of punishment to get pe ople to do what we want them to do. In general, coercive interactions are interacti ons that could break dow n social relationships and lead the individual being coerced to want to avoid, get even, or escape from the coercing individual. Therefore, in this study, participants were taught the types of coercive behaviors and to avoid engaging in coercion. Assessment Procedures Assessment of the three skills was done before and after training of each skill
13 through role-play scenar ios with one or two trainers wh ile one or two other trainer(s) scored each participantÂ’s respons es on a skill checklist. (See Response Measurement and Experimental Design below for a description of the check lists.) The trainer(s), either graduate students in applied behavior an alysis or trained employees of the BASP, introduced various scenarios (one at a time) th at were designed for specific skills to be used. These role-plays were randomly ordered prior to training. The trainer(s) played a peer, friend, or relative of the participant fo r these role-plays. Th e role-play situations were scripted, and the trainer( s) was given specific instruc tions for how to engage in appropriate and inappropriate behavior. The participant wa s then asked to respond, via role-play, how they normally woul d respond to that type of situ ation if it occurred in their everyday life. The number of role-plays conducted for each participant at each assessment point differed slightly in an effort to try to control for trends in data. The primary data collector for each role-play gr oup determined after each role-play scenario whether additional role-plays should be conducted in attempt to assess whether a participantÂ’s data was trending. Pre-training role-play assessments were typically conducted in common areas of the participantsÂ’ homes approximately one week prior to training. However, one participantÂ’s pre-training assessment was conduc ted in a meeting room at a local library, in lieu of the participantÂ’s home, at the parentÂ’s request. Po st-training role-play assessments were conducted, as described above, for each skill immediately following the training of each skill. After training each skill, each participant practiced role-playing the skill one time with a trainer in the cl assroom. During this role-play, modeling and feedback on the participantÂ’s performance were provided. Then, part icipants role-played
14 individually, without modeling or feedback, as described above. Four-week follow-up role-play assessments were conducted in th e participantsÂ’ homes. Pre-training, posttraining, and four-week follow-up role-play s cenarios, described above, were randomly ordered in their presentation for each particip ant. Novel scenarios were used throughout training in attempt to prevent increased accu racy from repeated exposure to the same role-play scenarios. Response Measurement and Experimental Design ParticipantsÂ’ behavior in role-play sess ions was observed by either a graduate student in applied behavior analysis or a trained employee of the BASP, who scored the participantsÂ’ accuracy in the use of a skill by using checklists (See Appendix E) based on the task analyzed steps of the three skills taugh t in class. These steps, listed in Appendix A, were scored for each participant for each skill. For each step, the observer scored whether (a) the participant correctly demons trated the step or (b) did not correctly demonstrate the step. For each skill, the pe rcentage of steps performed correctly was calculated by dividing the num ber of steps performed corr ectly by the total number of steps for the skill, then multiplying by 100. Ac quisition of the skills was experimentally assessed using a multiple-baseline across skills design for each of the six study participants. Interobserver Agreement A second observer simultaneously and i ndependently observed and scored for 100% of the role-play assessments (pre-tra ining, post-training and four-week follow-up assessments). Their scores were later compar ed to the primary observerÂ’s scores in order to calculate interobserver agreement. To calculate interobserver agreement, the two
15 observersÂ’ scored checklists were compar ed and agreement was indicated when both scored a step the same way. For example, if both observers scored th at the participant did a step correctly, this was counted as an agreement. Likewise if the observers both agreed that a step was not completed, that was scored as an agreement. If one observer scored that a step was completed and the other obser ver scored that it was not, that was counted as a disagreement. Agreements and disagree ments were totaled for each role-play and then divided by the total number of steps possi ble for role-plays. Reliability scores were calculated separately for each skill at each assessment point using the formula (number agreements/ number agreements+disagreements) x 100. For Stay Close the average percentage of interobserver agreement was 91% for pre-assessment, 94% for postassessment, and 92% for four-week follow-up. For Use Reinforcement the average percentage of interobserver agreement was 97% for pre-assessment, 96% for postassessment, and 100% for four-week follow-up. For Pivot the average percentage of interobserver agreement was 97% for pre-as sessment, 87% for post-assessment, and 95% for four-week follow-up. Parent and Participant Survey Measures Two secondary measures were also collected in an attempt to index other effects of the training on participantÂ’s behavior (Child Behavior Checklist; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001), and feelings re lated to social situations ( Tell Us What You Think! ). The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (Achenb ach & Rescorla, 2001) was given to the participantsÂ’ parents approximately one week prior to training and again approximately four weeks after training was concluded. Th e CBCL is a well established standardized measure designed to assess behavior of childre n aged 6 to 18 years. Parents or close
16 relatives (only mothers in the current st udy) complete the assessment and report the behaviors of their children. There are 20 competence items that address the childÂ’s activities, social rela tions and school performance. In addition, there are 118 items that seek to assess specific behavioral and em otional problems. There are two final openended items that allow for parent reporti ng of additional problems or information. Parents rate their children on the form for how true each statement is for their child using the scale: 2 = very true or often true, 1 = somewhat or sometimes true, and 0 = not true (as far as you know). The CBCL score ranges for both scales fo r youth ages 12 to 18 years only are reported below as this is the age range of a ll participants for this study. The normal range is considered to be the range in which t ypical youth would fall, that being youth whose scores fall within a normal range (accord ing to the national norms used by the CBCL creators). The borderline clin ical range is designed to discriminate between the normal range and the clinical range while lowering the rate of Â“false positiveÂ” results (normal youth who score within the clinical range). Th e clinical range refers to youth who score within the Â“clinically deviantÂ” range as reported by the creators of the assessment. For the Competence Scales, the total score is calcul ated by summing the three subscales (Activities, Social, a nd School). Normal range for the Activities subscale is between 7 and 15, for the Social subscale is between 5.5 and 14, and for the School subscale is between 3 and 6. Th e borderline clinical range for the Activities subscale is between 5 and 6.5, for the Social subscale is between 4.5 and 5, and for the School subscale is 2.5. The clinical range for the Activities subscale is between 0 and 4.5, for the Social subscale is between 0 and 4, and for the School subscale is between 0 and 2.
17 For the total score on the Competence Scal es the normal range is between 20.5 and 35, the borderline clinical range is 19 and 20, a nd the clinical range is between 0 and 18.5. For the Syndrome Scales the total score is calculated by summing the nine subscales of the assessment (Anxious/De pressed, Withdrawn/Depressed, Somatic Complaints, Social Problems Thought Problems, Attenti on Problems, Rule-Breaking Behavior, Aggressive Behavior and Other Problems). The Internalizing score results from summing the Anxious/Depressed, Wit hdrawn/Depressed, and Somatic Complaints subscales. The Externalizing score result s from summing the Rule-Breaking Behavior and Aggressive Behavior subsca les. Normal range for the In ternalizing and Externalizing scores is between 0 and 11, and for the tota l score is between 0 and 35. The borderline clinical range for the Internalizing score is between 12 and 14, for the Externalizing score is between 12 and 15, and for the total score is between 36 and 44. Th e clinical range for the Internalizing scale is between 15 and 64, for the Externalizing score is between 16 and 70, and for the total score is between 45 and 240. A survey titled Tell Us What You Think! which consisted of questions from the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACL SA) (Casey Family Programs, 2004), was given to the participants prior to training, immediately after training was completed, and again approximately four weeks following the conclusion of training during the followup role-play session. The primary trainer was present in the room but was not in the immediate area of the participant as they were completing the survey. The baseline assessment consists of questions selected from a combination of all of the five readily available versions of the ACLSA. The ACLS A is an assessment designed to measure the life skills of young people and is available for free download at http://caseylifeskills.org
18 Fifteen questions (See Appendix C) that we re most relevant to the social skills curriculum were selected for use on this assessment from the Social Relationship, Communication, Work Life, Work and St udy Skills, and Knowledge and Behavior sections from the five available versions of the ACLSA. The post-training and four-week follow up surveys (See Appendix D) were th e same as baseline, but contained 12 additional questions designed to assess the social validity of the training package. Carr, Austin, Britton, Kellum, and Bailey (1999) point out in their articl e the importance of obtaining and reporting information related to the social validity of applied behavior analysis interventions. Thus, the ten addi tional questions include d on the post-training and four-week follow-up surveys were desi gned to index the satisfaction of each participant with the training package. Part icipants rate each of the questions (both adapted ACLSA questions and social validity questions) on the post-training assessments as Â“DefinitelyÂ”, Â“I GuessÂ”, or Â“Not So Mu chÂ”. For scoring purposes, Â“DefinitelyÂ” was scored as 3 points, Â“I GuessÂ” was scored as 2 points, and Â“Not So MuchÂ” was scored as 1 point. The total possible score for the AC LSA questions was 45, and the total possible score for the social vali dity questions was 30.
19 Results Social Skills Participant preand post-training scores for each skill are presented in Table 2. The data are presented as the average percen tage of steps completed correctly across consecutive assessments. Overall, participants demonstrated the skills with lower levels of accuracy during pre-training assessments co mpared to post-training. At post-training, all six participants demonstrated each skill with increased levels of accuracy as measured through role-play scenarios. For Stay Close the average percentage of steps completed correctly for all participants was 44% at pre-assessment, 78% for post-assessment, and 85% at four-week follow-up. For Use Reinforcement the average score for all participants was 70% at pre-assessment, 93% for post-assessment, and 88% at four-week follow-up. For Pivot the average score for all particip ants was 33% at pre-assessment, 76% at post-assessment, and 93% at four-week follow-up. Table 2. Participant Prea nd Post-training Average Pe rcentages for Each Skill Stay Close Use Reinforcement Pivot Participant Pre Post 4Wk Pre Post 4Wk Pre Post 4Wk Brenna 32 83 90 82 100 100 46 83 100 Cara 57 93 93 75 93 100 40 93 80 Shawna 58 78 80 51 90 80 15 49 100 Norah 28 74 75 86 30 93 Kerry 42 61 83 85 97 80 18 65 87 Colleen 44 76 77 50 91 80 49 75 100 Average (Group) 44 78 85 70 93 88 33 76 93 = No data available
20 Figure 1 shows results for Brenna. She had a low level of accuracy pre-training for Stay Close ( M =32%), a high level of accuracy for Use Reinforcement ( M =82%), and a low but variable level of accuracy for Pivot ( M =46%). Post-training BrennaÂ’s levels of accuracy increased for all skills ( M =83% for Stay Close M =100% for Use Reinforcement and M =83% for Pivot .) At four-week follow-up, BrennaÂ’s levels of accuracy remained high for all three skills ( M =90% for Stay Close M =100% for Use Reinforcement and M =100 for Pivot.) Figure 1. Brenna Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly Stay Close -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100Brenna Pre-TrainingPost-Training4-Week Use Reinf -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pivot -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1234567891011121314151617181920 Sessions Percenta g e Ste p s Correct
21 Cara, whose results are shown in Figur e 2, had a low level of accuracy pretraining for Stay Close ( M =57%), a higher but somewhat va riable level of accuracy pretraining for Use Reinforcement ( M= 75%), and low levels of accuracy for Pivot ( M =40%). At post-training, CaraÂ’s levels of accuracy increased for all skills ( M =93% for all three skills). At four-week follow-up, CaraÂ’s high levels of accuracy maintained ( M =93% for Stay Close 100% for Use Reinforcement and 80% for Pivot ). Figure 2. Cara Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly Stay Close-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pre-Training Post-Training 4-Wee k Cara Use Reinf-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pivot-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 12345678910111213141516171819 Sessions Percentage Steps Correct
22 Shawna had variable levels of accuracy for Stay Close ( M =58%) and Use Reinforcement ( M =51%) pre-training. See Figure 3 for results for Shawna. Pre-training for Pivot she had a low level of accuracy ( M =15%). Following training she increased in accuracy for all three skills ( M =78% for Stay Close M =90% for Use Reinforcement M =49% for Pivot ) but showed variable levels for Pivot At four-week follow-up, ShawnaÂ’s level of accuracy increas ed slightly from post-training for Stay Close ( M =80%) and decreased slightly a nd had less variability for Use Reinforcement ( M =80%). For Pivot there was a large increase in accuracy and decrease in variability with the average percentage of steps correct for Shawna 100% for this skill was.
23 Figure 3. Shawna Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly Results for Norah are shown in Figure 4. Levels of accuracy were low pretraining for Norah as well ( M =28 for Stay Close and M =30 for Pivot ). She did, however, show higher levels of accuracy during pre-training assessments for Use Reinforcement ( M =75%). After training the levels of accuracy increased and variabil ity decreased for all skills ( M =74% for Stay Close M =86% for Use Reinforcement M =93% for Pivot ). No follow-up data was collected for Norah. A fo llow-up visit was scheduled with Norah and Stay Close -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pre-Training Post-Training 4-Wee k Shawna Use Reinf -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pivot-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 123456789101112131415161718192021 Sessions Percentage Steps Correct
24 her mother, but they were not home for the as sessment visit and were not able to be contacted by the resear cher for rescheduling. Figure 4. Norah Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly Similar to the other participants, Kerry showed lower levels of accuracy with some variability for Stay Close ( M =42%) and Pivot ( M =18%). Results for Kerry are shown in Figure 5. She showed a highe r level of accuracy pre-training for Use Reinforcement ( M =85%), but still showed increases in accuracy in this skill post-training ( M =97%). Kerry also showed increases in both of the other sk ills following training Stay Close-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Norah Pre-Training Post-Training Use Reinf-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pivot-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1234567891011121314 Sessions Percentage Steps Correct
25 ( M =61% for Stay Close and 65% for Pivot ). At four-week follow-up, Kerry increased in accuracy from post-training for Stay Close ( M =83%) and Pivot ( M =87%). She decreased slightly for Use Reinforcement ( M =80%). Figure 5. Kerry Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly Colleen, whose results are shown in Figur e 6, had low levels of accuracy for all skills and had the most variability for all skills pre-training ( M =44% for Stay Close M =50% for Use Reinforcement and M =49% for Pivot ). Similar to the other participants, Colleen showed increased levels of accuracy for all skills ( M =76% for Stay Close Stay Close-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Kerr y Pre-Training Post-Training 4-Week Use Reinf-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pivot-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1234567891011121314151617181920 Sessions Percentage Steps Correct
26 M =91% for Use Reinforcement M =75% for Pivot ) although some variability remained for Pivot At four-week follow-up increases in accu racy from post-training were seen for Stay Close ( M =77%) and Pivot ( M =100%). A slight decrease in accuracy was seen from post-training for Use Reinforcement ( M =80%). Figure 6. Colleen Percentage of Steps Completed Correctly Child Behavior Checklist Results for the CBCL measure indexed minimal positive changes in three participantsÂ’ behavior as rate d by parents on the Syndrome Scal es of the CBCL. It is not known whether these results are statistically significant. These three participants had Stay Close -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Colleen Pre-Training Post-Training 4-Week Use Reinf-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pivot-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 12345678910111213141516171819 Percentage Steps Correct Sessions
27 scores that were in either the borderline clin ical range or clinical range on part of the assessment. (See Table 3 for specific CBCL Competence Scale scores for all participants.) On the Competence Scales, Kerry and Colleen had scores within the borderline clinical or clinical range. KerryÂ’s total compet ence score was 20, therefore within the borderline clinical range, at both pre-and post-as sessment. Similarly, Colleen had a total score of 18 pre-training and 19 post-training, both within the borderline clinical range, on the competence scales. No positive changes were found on the Competence Scales of the assessment for any participant. Table 3. Preand Post-training CBCL Competence Scales Scores Pre-training Post-training Participant Activities Social School Total ActivitiesSocial SchoolTotal Brenna 13 6 5 24 10.5 4 6 20.5 Cara 14 10 6 30 12 11 6 29 Shawna 10.5 10.5 6 27 10 11 6 27 Norah 6.5 11 5 22.5 Kerry 8 6 6 20* 6* 9 5 20* Colleen 7* 6 5 18** 10 4** 5 19* Total (Group) 10 8 6 24 10 9 6 24 = No data available = Borderline clinical range (5-6.5 for Activities; 4.5-5 for Social; 2.5 for School; 19-20for total score) ** = Clinical range (4.5-0 for Activities; 4-0 for Social; 2-0 for School; 18.5-0 for total score) On the Syndrome Scales of the assessme nt, Brenna, Kerry and Colleen all had scores within either the borderline clinical or clinical range. (S ee Table 4 for specific CBCL Syndrome Scale scores for all participants.) Pre-traini ng Brenna scored within the clinical range on the Internalizing Scale w ith a score of 18 and was in the borderline clinical range with a total score of 37. Po st-training BrennaÂ’s sc ore on the Internalizing Scale dropped to 7 and her total score droppe d to 10, both scores we ll within the normal range. Kerry scored within the borderline clin ical range at pre-assessment with a score of
28 12. While her total score of 28 for pre-training was just within the normal range, at posttraining her total scored droppe d dramatically to 1. Her sc ore on the Internalizing Scale also dropped to 1, which is well within the no rmal range. Colleen had similar preand post-training results. Her score on the Exte rnalizing Scale was 11 pr e-training, within the borderline clinical range. Her total score of 32 was not quite within the borderline range. Post-training her scor e on the Externalizing Scale dr opped to 3, and her total score dropped to 12, both well within the normal range. Table 4. Preand Post-traini ng CBCL Syndrome Scales Scores Pre Post Participant Internalizing ExternalizingTotalInternalizingExternalizingTotal Brenna 18** 8 37* 7 0 10 Cara 4 1 5 7 2 9 Shawna 0 1 2 2 1 3 Norah 1 0 2 Kerry 12* 8 28 1 0 1 Colleen 5 11* 32 2 3 12 Total (Group) 7 5 18 3 2 6 = No data available = Borderline clinical range (12-14 for Internaliz ing; 12-15 for Externalizing; 36-44 for total score) ** = Clinical range (15-64 for Internalizing; 16-70 for Externalizing; 49-240 for total score) Tell Us What You Think! All six participants completed the soci al validity portion of the written posttraining assessment titled Tell Us What You Think! Participants rated the class as having high social validity with all participants scor ing 26 out of 30 possible points, or 87%, or higher on this assessment immediately fo llowing training. The average of all participantsÂ’ scores on the social validity ques tions at this assessment point was 27 out of 30 possible points or 90%. One particip ant scored 30 out of 30 or 100% on the assessment. At four-week follow-up, five pa rticipants completed the social validity
29 portion of the written assessment. Particip ants rated the class as having high social validity with all participants scoring 24 out of 30 points, or 80%, or higher on the assessment. The average score for this a ssessment at follow-up was 27 out of 30 points or 90%. This is the same group average as at the post-training a ssessment point. (See Table 5 for specific social validity scores for each participant at each assessment point.) Table 5. Participant Pr eand Post-training Tell Us What You Think! Survey Scores Participant Pre Post1 Post 2 Soc Val1 Soc Val2 Brenna 39 42 43 27 27 Cara 42 44 41 30 27 Shawna 38 42 39 26 24 Norah 36 42 26 Kerry 41 43 43 28 30 Colleen 33 38 38 27 28 Average (Group) 38 42 41 27 27 = No data available Participants also reported increases fr om their baseline responses on the adapted ACLSA. Similar to the social validity porti on, all six participants completed this portion of the written post-training assessment. The average score before training was 38 out of 45 or 84%. The average score for the group immediately following training was 42 out of 45 or 93%. ItÂ’s not clear whether the diffe rences are statistically significant, however, small increases were seen between prea nd post-training scores. At four-week followup, five participants completed the ACLSA. The average score was 41 out of 45 or 91%. This is a slight decrease from immediatel y following training. (See Table 5 above for specific survey scores for each par ticipant at each assessment point.)
30 Discussion The results of this study showed that the skills Stay Close Use Reinforcement and Pivot as adapted from the BASP parent trai ning curriculum, could be learned by adolescent females. Since these skills have been shown to be effective at increasing positive interactions between caregivers and ch ildren (Crosland et al., in press), it is plausible that the skills may prove benefi cial for young people as well, by increasing positive interactions with people with whom they interact. This study takes one step further to identifying and succe ssfully implementing a social skills training curriculum that could be used with typically devel oping adolescents and po ssibly other populations. The positive changes in two participants Â’ CBCL scores following training also is something interesting to consider as change s such as this would not necessarily be expected with a training of such short duration. It would be interesting for future studies to compare a control group of participant sc ores on the CBCL and see if changes occur in both groups. This may suggest that the differe nces in behavior could be a function of maturation of the participants. If changes are not seen within the c ontrol groupÂ’s scores, this may add more support for the change s resulting as effects of training. Verbal reports from one participantÂ’s mo ther provide a qualitative description of changes in her daughterÂ’s behavior post-tra ining. This mother reported that she was pleased with her daughterÂ’s behavior since she participated in the social skills training. She stated, Â“She gets along better with her young er brother and is more tolerant. She is
31 also more self-assured.Â” The mother also repo rted that, since partic ipating in the training, her daughter Â“talks more about her future goa ls.Â” Qualitative reports were not formally obtained from all participantsÂ’ parents. Futu re research might include a standard social validity survey or forum for feedback from parents. At four-week follow-up, three mothers requested a way to provide specifi c information regarding their daughterÂ’s behavior since the completion of training. While some parents reported positive ch anges and participants showed increased levels of accuracy post-training, this study is not without limitations. One such limitation of the study is the lack of long term follow-up data to measure maintenance of the learned skills. It is possible that pa rticipants were able to use the skills in class immediately following training but did not continue to us e the skills in their everyday lives. Another limitation involves generalization. It is also possible that the skills did not generalize to real-life situations. While the role-play scenarios were carefully crafted to help promote generalization (they were re alistic, plausible sc enarios for teenaged females), no measure of generalization was assessed. Further studies should be conducted to specifically assess maintenance and generalization of the instructed skills. Analysis of generalization of th e skills to individuals within the participantsÂ’ lives may be assessed in future studies by observing the par ticipants at home with their family or in public places (e.g., the mall or at school) and measuring the frequency and accuracy of skill use with those people. It is encouraging, however, that two participants maintained high rates of accuracy and increased their cons istency in percentage of steps correct at four-week follow-up, which is an in-home asse ssment. While this was not designed to assess differences between classroom posttraining assessments and in-home follow-up
32 assessments, it might suggest that the particip ants are using the skills in-home. Future research should attempt to control for these limitations and to assess further the generalization of the skills to the participants Â’ lives as well as the maintenance and use of the skills by participants w ith people they know and routin ely interact wi th over longer periods of time. Another idea involving role-p lay scenarios and gene ralization for future similar studies would be to set up analog s cenarios between the participants and their parents in which a specific skill could be use d. The parents could be given scripted roleplay scenarios to act out with their ch ildren while researchers are observing the interaction. It would be in teresting to compare the leve ls of accuracy shown by the participants in interactions with their pa rents in which they kne w their parents were trying to prompt the use of a specific skill versus when they did not know the parents were engaging in an analog scenario with them. An additional limitation was the small sample size of participants. The results of this study might not generalize to all adolescent females as only six participants were assessed. While the findings are promising th at the skills can be learned by, and may potentially be helpful for, some adolescents, it is not clear to what extent these results can be applied to the adolescent population as a wh ole due to a small sample of participants for the current study. It also is not clear if any differences may have existed among the group based on the different ages of the participants. The short time frame in which training wa s conducted should also be considered. The class was only one day (six hours) in du ration and provided a brief time for in-class role-play and practice. Perhap s if the participants would have had more opportunities for in-class role-playing, in which modeling and feedback on performa nce were provided,
33 participants may have demonstrated even hi gher and less variable levels of accuracy while role-playing the skills during post-training and follow-up assessments. Another issue to consider is that Kerry and Brenna had high levels of accuracy for Use Reinforcement prior to training that skill. It is possible that this could be accounted for by individual differences with th ese two participants. The skill Use Reinforcement is similar to being polite and thanking people specif ically for things they do to help. These participants already may have been taught by th eir parents or other si gnificant adults in their lives to thank others and to be polite to other people. A similar concern for the Use Reinforcement skill is that Cara, Norah and Colleen all showed increases in accuracy for th is skill after training was completed for Stay Close Some of the components of Stay Close are related to Use Reinforcement and several steps are shared in the two skills. For exam ple, in the curriculum taught prior to Stay Close participants are taught about pr oviding attention to appropriate behavior rather than to inappropriate behavior (e.g., ignore junk behavior and avoi d coercion). They were instructed to notice things othe rs do for them and show apprec iation for these things in an attempt to increase the frequency of those beha viors in similar situations again in the future. While the specific steps of Use Reinforcement were not specifically reviewed, some components are similar and, thus, may have led to the increase in accuracy for Use Reinforcement following the teaching of Stay Close A final consideration is the differences in the role-play scenarios used. A variety of situations were presented. While all of the scenarios ha d been carefully designed to assess a specific skill and be realistic and plausible for t ypical adolescent females, some situations may have been better assessment s cenarios than others. For example, one of
34 the post-training scenarios for Pivot (the second role-play for this assessment point) was that the participantÂ’s mom just came into the room and said that sheÂ’d made the participantÂ’s favorite food for dinner. Then, the trainer engaged in the junk behavior of gently criticizing the participantÂ’s messy room All six participants scored poorly on this role-play. If this role-play da ta point is not included in the post-training average, all participantsÂ’ averages would increase. (See Ta ble 6 for differences in the average scores for the post-training assessment point including and excluding this data point.) While the scenario was designed to assess the skill Pivot it did not seem to function this way during post-assessments with participants. It is po ssible that the role-play assessed more of a compliance issue (cleaning up their room when a parent asks) instead of Â“pivotingÂ” away from the parentÂ’s junk beha vior (complaining about the room) and attending to the desired behavior (providing a ttention to the parent for pr eparing the favorite meal). Table 6. Differences in Average Scores for Pivot Post-training Role-play #2 Participant Average Including Role-play Average Excluding Role-play Post-training Percentage Difference Brenna 83 97 14 Cara 93 100 7 Shawna 49 53 4 Norah 93 100 7 Kerry 65 87 22 Colleen 75 89 14 Total (Group) 76 88 12 Similarly, another post-training role-play for the skill Stay Close has the trainer talk to the participant about how sad she is that her grandmother passed away recently. Two participants verbally explained that they didnÂ’t know what to say when someone
35 dies, and scored poorly on this role-play. It is possible that some of the variability within the participantsÂ’ role-play accura cy may be related to the spec ifics of some of the roleplays. Future research should carefully cons ider the role-play scen arios, and potentially practice them with a group of young people not involved in th e study, prior to using them as assessment scenarios. As Cartledge a nd Loe (2001) explain, it is also important to take individualsÂ’ cultural differences into account when attempting to do assessments. While the role-plays used for this study were designed to be culture neutral, future studies may consider using role-play scenarios that specifically fit with the participantsÂ’ individual cultural differences. Another interesting point to consider is that participants tended to miss the same steps for some of the skills during the role-play scenarios. For example, Brenna, Cameron and Norah tended to miss the Â‘touch appropria telyÂ’ step for Stay Close. Shawna and Colleen repeatedly missed the empathy step of the same skill. Shawna also tended to miss the Â‘actively atte nd to something elseÂ’ step of Pivot Kerry tended to miss the Â‘do nothingÂ’ step of the same skill. If future research yields similar findings, perhaps a secondary training procedure focusing on th e most commonly missed steps could be implemented in attempt to promote more accu rate skill demonstration by participants. Some of the skills taught are applicable to both adults and youth. One idea for future researchers to consider would be to teach a group of adolescents whose parents were also trained in the BASP parent training curriculum (Van Camp et al., in press) and compare the findings to a group of young people whose parents have not been trained. Research by Hemphill and Littlefield (2001) found that a short-term training program for both youth and parents, which included a soci al skills component, improved their social
36 skills and decreased at-h ome problem behaviors of the youth. It would be interesting to examine the results of a similar study conduc ted by incorporating both the BASP positive parenting curriculum utilized by VanCamp et al ., (in press) and the modified curriculum used in the current study. In conclusion, this study showed that the three skills in structed can be learned by adolescent females as demonstrated through role -play. It is possible that these skills may be helpful for the youth and may be mainta ined over time. This study adds to the literature by showing successful implementati on of a social skills training curriculum with typically developing adolescents. It se ems to be a promising step toward a standard social skills training package for young people.
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38 Elliot, S. N., Malecki, C. K., & Demaray, M. K. (2001). New directions in social skills assessment and intervention for elemen tary and middle school students. Exceptionality, 9, 19-32. Gaffney, L. R., & McFall, R. M. (1981). A co mparison of social skills in delinquent and nondelinquent adolescent girls using a be havioral role-playing inventory. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 959-967. Gutierrez, Berkey, & Bergson-Shilcock (2001). Strengthening families to promote youth development A Report of the Annie E. Casey Foundations Roundtable Discussions. Baltimore, Maryland. Gresham, F. M., & Nagle, R. J. (1980) Social skills training with children: Responsiveness to modeling and coaching as a function of peer orientation. Journal of Consulting and C linical Psychology, 48 (6), 718-729. Hannon, J. C. & Ratliffe, T. (2007). Opportunities to participate and teacher interactions in coed versus single-gender physical education settings. Physical Educator, 64 (1), 11-20. Hemphill, S. A., & Littlefield, L. (2001) Evaluation of a short-term group therapy program for children with behavi or problems and their parents. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 39, 823-841. Henggeler, S. W., Clingempeel, W. G., Brondi no, M. J., & Pickrel, S. G. (2002). Fouryear follow-up of multisystemic therapy with substance-abusing and substancedependent juvenile offenders. Journal of the Americ an Academy of Child Adolescence, 41(7), 868-874. La Greca, A. M., & Santogrossi, D. A. (1980) Social skills training with elementary school students: A behavioral group approach. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48, 220-227. Mathur, S.R., & Rutherford, R.B. (1996). Is so cial skills training effective for students with emotional or behavioral disord ers? Research issues and needs. Behavioral Disorders 22 21-28. Mattaini, M. A., & McGuire, M. S. (2006) Behavioral strategies for constructing nonviolent cultures with youth. Behavior Modification, 30 (2), 184-224. Miltenberger, R. G. (2004). Behavior Modification: Prin ciples and Procedures 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
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41 Appendix A: List of Steps for Each Social Skill Skill 1: Stay Close 1. Get physically close to the other person within 15 seconds of the Stay Close behavior. 2. Touch appropriatel y. (Hug, high five) 3. Match facial expressions. (Appropriately reflect the emotion of the situation.) 4. Use appropriate tone of voice. (Voice matc hes the situation, a neutral monotone is not enough.) 5. Relax your body language within 15 seconds of the Stay Close behavior. (Arms open, looking at the other person) 6. Ask open-ended positive questions. (W hat? Who? How? When? Where?) 7. Listen when the other person speaks. Ta lk less than they do. (Do not problem solve unless the other person asks for help. Do not interrupt or change the topic abruptly.) 8. Use empathy statements. (Act like a mirro r and reflect the othe r persons feelings, express understanding and caring.) 9. Avoid reacting to junk behavior. 10. Stay cool throughout the pr ocess. (No coercives.) Skill 2: Use Reinforcement 1. Tell the person what behavior you liked. 2. Give a consequence that matche s the value of the behavior. a. Social interaction b. Verbal praise c. Appropriate touch d. Tangible item e. Privilege f. Break from a task 3. Give the consequence within 3 se conds of recognizing the behavior. 4. Use sincere and appropriate facial expr essions, tone of voice and body language. 5. Avoid coercion. Skill 3: Pivot 1. Say nothing about the junk beha vior. (For example, donÂ’t say, Â“Stop that now!Â” or Â“Quit doing that!Â”)
42 Appendix A: (Continued) 2. Do nothing to react to the junk behavi or. (For example, donÂ’t roll your eyes, stomp out of the room, or cross your arms.) 3. Actively attend to another person or activit y. (For example, praise someone else.) 4. Once the person who displayed junk beha vior behaves appropriately, provide reinforcement for the appropriate behavior within 10 seconds. a. Social interaction b. Verbal praise c. Appropriate touch d. Tangible item e. Privilege f. Break from a task 5. Stay Cool. (No coercives.)
43 Appendix B: Description of Coercives 1. Questioning: asking questions when the other person does not really expect an honest answer and wonÂ’t accept the likely answer Example: A friend of yours is kissing your boyfriend. You walk by and notice this and say to the friend, Â“Why donÂ’t you just get a hotel room? What, you couldnÂ’t find your own guy?Â” 2. Arguing: Attempting to force another person to agree and responding to any objection by that person Example: It is your chore to clean the kitchen. When your pa rent requests that you begin to clean up you say that you donÂ’t want to. Your parent says that you are supposed to help every night. You say you are not going to because itÂ’s not fair that you are the only person who cleans the kitchen. Your parent repeats that you need to. And the back and forth ne gative verbal interaction continues. 3. Sarcasm/Teasing: Making fun Example: A friend shows up late for a movie and you say, Â“Wow, so nice of you to make it. IÂ’m sure they waited for you to get here before theyÂ’d start the show.Â” 4. Force (physical or verbal): Causing pain or creating fear Example: You are shopping with a friend. You have asked to leave the store you are in, but your friend is not done shoppi ng. You grab her by the arm and drag her out of the store yelling that sheÂ’s done shopping. 5. Taking things from other people: Removi ng attention or a desired or preferred activity, item or money in an attempt to ch ange a personÂ’s behavior in the future Example: A friend calls to report to you th at she is really hun g over from a party last night. You have discussed with this friend numerous times that you donÂ’t like it when she drinks. You hang up on your friend and will not answer the phone when she calls you back. 6. One ups-man-ship: Minimizing another personÂ’s statements by telling them stories about how good/bad your li fe experiences have been Example: Your friend tells you that her father has lost his job and that sheÂ’s concerned about money. Y ou tell the friend that when you were little you had no money for food, and lived out of your car for a year so it canÂ’t be that bad.
44 Appendix B: (Continued) 7. Threats: A warning that you will do something mean Example: You have been fighting with a former friend over a cute boy from school. You tell the friend that if she doe snÂ’t stop talking to him youÂ’re going to tell the boy embarrassing secrets about her. 8. Criticism: Putting down other people Example: Your mother made waffles for breakfast and serves them to you warm. You say, Â“Maybe next time you could turn the waffle iron down so they arenÂ’t so burnt.Â” 9. Silent Treatment: Obviously ignoring a nother person in order to punish them. Ignoring past the point of the troubling behaviorÂ’s occurrence and the other person is behaving more appropriately. Example: A friend tells you that she accidentally got ink all over your favorite shirt that she had borrowed and that itÂ’s now ruined. You donÂ’t talk to the friend for the rest of the week. 10. Telling on them to others: Talking to ot hers regarding the be havior of another person. If the person knows you have told another person, the relationship with those others and you will be damaged; the other person will be likely to get even with all involved. Example: A friend confided in you that sh e had failed a very important test. She made you mad at school today so you go to her house, wait for her mom and dad to come into the room and you tell her parents in front of your friend about her bad grade. 11. Despair/Pleading/Helplessness: Saying or doing things to make another person change because they feel sorry for you or guilty for what they have done to you Example: Your friend smokes a cigarett e after 2 weeks of not smoking. You had been encouraging your friend to stop sm oking and were proud of the two smokefree weeks. Your friend reports to you that she had smoked that day, and you say, Â“I take all my time and try to help you quit. I talk to you on the phone every time you think you want to smoke for two full w eeks and take your cigarettes from you so you donÂ’t have any, and this is ho w you repay me, by smoking a cigarette today.Â” 12. Logic: Explaining with more than one or two brief statements why a behavior is good or bad for another person. The explana tion is especially likely to function as coercion if it is a frequent convers ation between you and the other person
45 Appendix B: (Continued) Example: A friend of yours has been smoking pot on the weekends. You begin to discuss this with them as soon as they come to school on Monday. You begin by explaining the importance of being h ealthy. Then explain that when your friend smokes pot it disappoi nts you and that you want them to succeed in life and that is why you keep talking about this w ith them. You also explain that smoking pot is a breach of trust and that if you canÂ’t trust them then you donÂ’t want them a part of your group anymore. This is the same conversation that you had with the friend the week before.
46 Appendix C: Baseline Tell Us What You Think! (Questions Adapted from ACLSA) WeÂ’d like to know how you feel about a couple of things. Please circle the response for each line that best fits you. I clearly present my ideas to others. Definitely I guess Not so much I ask questions to make sure I understand something someone has said. Definitely I guess Not so much When I disagree with someone, I try to find a compromise. Definitely I guess Not so much I show appreciation for thi ngs other people do for me. Definitely I guess Not so much I deal with anger without using violence. Definitely I guess Not so much I am part of a group besides my family that cares about me. Definitely I guess Not so much I show others that I care about them. Definitely I guess Not so much I am comfortable with the num ber of friends that I have. Definitely I guess Not so much I can usually receive feedb ack without getting angry. Definitely I guess Not so much I get along with co-workers or schoolmates. Definitely I guess Not so much I thank people when they do things for me. Definitely I guess Not so much
47 Appendix C: (Continued) I tell my problems to an adult. Definitely I guess Not so much I pay attention when others talk. Definitely I guess Not so much I can get mad without hurting others. Definitely I guess Not so much I work well with others. Definitely I guess Not so much Want to tell us anything else? WeÂ’d l ove to hear what you have to say, go on, fill us in! ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
48 Appendix D: Post-Training and 4-week follow-up Tell Us What You Think! (Social Validity and Questi ons Adapted from ACLSA) We want to know how you liked the cla ss and what you feel like you learned from taking it. WeÂ’d also like to know how you feel about some other things too. Please circle the response for each line that best fits you. About our class: I really enjoyed the class. Definitely I guess Not so much I would tell my friends that th ey should take the class. Definitely I guess Not so much I feel more comfortable around people after taking this class. Definitely I guess Not so much I act differently toward people now. Definitely I guess Not so much People act differently toward me now. Definitely I guess Not so much I get along better with my friends now. Definitely I guess Not so much I learned some cool new stuff from class. Definitely I guess Not so much I have made some new friends since I first started class. Definitely I guess Not so much I think this class could help other yo ung adults get along better with other people. Definitely I guess Not so much I feel like the class was helpful and worth my time. Definitely I guess Not so much
49 Appendix D: (Continued) What did you like the best about class? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ What could we do better for our next class? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Other Stuff: I clearly present my ideas to others. Definitely I guess Not so much I ask questions to make sure I understand something someone has said. Definitely I guess Not so much When I disagree with someone, I try to find a compromise. Definitely I guess Not so much I show appreciation for thi ngs other people do for me. Definitely I guess Not so much I deal with anger without using violence. Definitely I guess Not so much I am part of a group besides my family that cares about me. Definitely I guess Not so much I show others that I care about them. Definitely I guess Not so much I am comfortable with the num ber of friends that I have. Definitely I guess Not so much I can usually receive feedb ack without getting angry. Definitely I guess Not so much I get along with co-workers or schoolmates. Definitely I guess Not so much
50 Appendix D: (Continued) I thank people when they do things for me. Definitely I guess Not so much I tell my problems to an adult. Definitely I guess Not so much I pay attention when others talk. Definitely I guess Not so much I can get mad without hurting others. Definitely I guess Not so much I work well with others. Definitely I guess Not so much Want to tell us anything else? WeÂ’d l ove to hear your feedback, so go on, fill us in! ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________
51 Appendix E: Skill Checklists Stay Close TOPIC: Teaching Outstanding Positive Interactions & Communications Stay Close Skill Checklist Participant Name: ___________________________________________ Behavior Analyst: _______________ Date : _________ Primary/Reliability Step Yes No Comments 1. Get close to the person within 15 seconds (within arms reach) 2. Touch appropriately 3. Use appropriate facial expressions 4. Use appropriate tone of voice 5. Relax body language within 15 seconds 6. Ask open-ended positive questions 7. Listen! when they speak 8. Use empathy statements 9. Avoid reacting to junk behavior 10. Avoid Coercion Number of steps completed correctly : (Circle One) 1=10%, 2=20%, 3=30%, 4=40%, 5=50%, 6=60%, 7=70%, 8=80%, 9=90%, 10=100%
52 Appendix E: (Continued) Use Reinforcement TOPIC: Teaching Outstanding Positi ve Interactions & Communications Use Reinforcement Skill Checklist Participant Name: ___________________________________________ Behavior Analyst: _______________ Date : _________ Primary/Reliability Step Yes No Comments 1. Tell the person what behavior you liked 2. Give a consequence that matches the value of the behavior Social interaction Verbal praise Appropriate touch Tangible item Privilege Break from task 3. Give consequence within 3 seconds of recognizing the behavior 4. Use sincere and appropriate facial expression, tone of voice and body language 5. Avoid coercion Number of steps completed correctly : (Circle One) 1=20%, 2=40%, 3=60%, 4=80%, 5=100%
53 Appendix E: (Continued) Pivot TOPIC: Teaching Outstanding Positive Interactions & Communications Pivot Skill Checklist Participant Name: ___________________________________________ Behavior Analyst: _______________ Date : _________ Primary/Reliability Step Yes No Comments 1. Say nothing about the junk behavior 2. Do nothing to react to the junk behavior 3. Actively do something else while the junk is happening 4. Use reinforcement when the person stops doing the junk behavior 5. Avoid coercion Number of steps completed correctly : (Circle One) 1=20%, 2=40%, 3=60%, 4=80%, 5=100%