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Social competence of children and adolescents

Ralph, A. (1991) Social competence of children and adolescents. Behaviour Change, 8 (4). p. 147.

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For those aiming to improve the social competence of others, the choice is usually between shaping specific micro-skills or more general problem-solving. While these are not mutually exclusive in practice, research has tended to investigate them separately. One of the major issues facing those targeting micro-skills is their validity in the setting of concern. For those targeting problemsolving, the issue is predominantly one of triggering problem-solving behaviour in the absence of trainer prompts. Other major issues which still have to be satisfactorily resolved include the identification and assessment of children requiring improved social skills and social competence. In addition, there is a need to remind ourselves that while improved social skills should lead to improved judgments about an individual's social competence, the latter is a somewhat abstract notion which tells us little about an individual's goals and objectives. While improved social competence should be one of our goals, it must be anchored to well defined behavioural objectives. One can be the life and soul of a party and receive high social competence ratings, yet be lonely and isolated once the party ends.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: Australian Academic Press
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