scispace - formally typeset

Journal ArticleDOI

A contextual approach to social skills assessment in the peer group: Who is the best judge?

25 Jun 2012-School Psychology Quarterly (American Psychological Association Inc.)-Vol. 27, Iss: 3, pp 121-133

TL;DR: Peer- and teacher-assessed social skills alike showed incremental validity in predicting positive school functioning and the significance of peers in the assessment of children's social skills in the peer group as well as the usefulness of a contextual approach to social skills assessment.

AbstractUsing a contextual approach to social skills assessment in the peer group, this study examined the criterion-related validity of contextually relevant social skills and the incremental validity of peers and teachers as judges of children's social skills. Study participants included 342 (180 male and 162 female) students and their classroom teachers (N = 22) from rural communities. As expected, contextually relevant social skills were significantly related to a variety of social status indicators (i.e., likability, peer- and teacher-assessed popularity, reciprocated friendships, clique centrality) and positive school functioning (i.e., school liking and academic competence). Peer-assessed social skills, not teacher-assessed social skills, demonstrated consistent incremental validity in predicting various indicators of social status outcomes; peer- and teacher-assessed social skills alike showed incremental validity in predicting positive school functioning. The relation between contextually relevant social skills and study outcomes did not vary by child gender. Findings are discussed in terms of the significance of peers in the assessment of children's social skills in the peer group as well as the usefulness of a contextual approach to social skills assessment.

Topics: Social competence (70%), Life skills (64%), Peer group (61%), Social skills (60%), Social environment (59%)

Summary (4 min read)

Introduction

  • In an effort to integrate theories of social competence, Dirks, Treat, and Weersing (2007) identified four factors involved in defining social competence: child, behavior, situation, and judge.
  • The situation and judge are important to consider because individuals’ social goals, cognitions, and behaviors are largely shaped by the interpersonal relationships they form in a specific context (Reis, Collins, & Berscheid, 2000; Salmivalli & Peets, 2009).
  • Conceptually, a contextual approach to the assessment of social skills recognizes that the demands, goals, and rules of social behaviors differ across situations and participants, and, thus, a child’s social skills need to be assessed in a contextspecific manner.

A Contextual Approach to Social Skills Assessment in the Peer Group

  • Among the contexts within which children are a part, the peer group becomes an increasingly important social context as children move through elementary school (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006).
  • To be successful in the peer group, children need to understand and behave consistently with the implicit and explicit social demands in that context.
  • Social skillfulness and competence in the peer group appears also to have significant implications for school outcomes.
  • Empirical investigations of a contextual approach to social skills assessment in the peer group have been sparse.
  • Findings suggested that, despite some intriguing differences among reporters, they also identified many overlapping behaviors.

Peers and Teachers as Judges of Children’s Social Skills

  • Peers and teachers have many opportunities to “judge” or evaluate children’s social skills in the peer group.
  • Peers also serve as valuable informants in the assessment of children’s positive and negative social characteristics (Masten, Morison, & Pellegrini, 1985).
  • Given the meaningful differences in the experiences and perceptions between peers and teachers, it is important to understand the incremental validity of each as evaluators on children’s social skills.
  • A study that involved preschool children showed that teacher-rated, as opposed to peer-nominated, popularity was more strongly related to children’s social competence (Connolly & Doyle, 1981).
  • These findings together suggest that teachers and peers might provide neither redundant nor incorrect information; rather, their incremental validity might differ, depending on many factors, including the type of behaviors assessed, outcome criteria, and the child’s developmental stage.

This Study

  • This study builds on a previous study that identified contextually relevant social behaviors in the peer group (Warnes et al., 2005).
  • In particular, a number of studies have shown that perceived popularity, albeit related, is meaningfully distinct from sociometric popularity (see Mayeux, Houser, & Dyches, 2011).
  • Thus, in addition to peer acceptance, the authors examined whether socially skilled children also are perceived as being popular, have more reciprocated friendships, and enjoy high centrality in a smaller unit of an affiliation-based peer group (i.e., clique).
  • The authors speculated that, although both teacher- and peer-assessed social skills predict the outcomes of interest, the incremental validity of peer assessment of social skills might be particularly pronounced for social status.
  • Research suggests that, as compared with boys, girls display higher levels of social skills (Gresham & Elliott, 1990; Zakriski, Wright, & Underwood, 2005).

Participants

  • Participants were 342 (180 male and 162 female) students and their classroom teachers (N = 22) from three elementary schools in Midwestern rural communities.
  • According to school records, 94% of students were White.
  • For the 22 classroom teachers, all were White and 19 were female.

Procedures

  • Consent forms with a brief written study description were sent home for parents and were also distributed to teachers.
  • Accordingly, the consent rate was determined across classrooms in a grade level.
  • Child assent was obtained and students were told they were allowed to decline participation in the study at any time.
  • Confidentiality was discussed before the survey administration, and participants were provided with an index card to cover their answers.
  • Students were allowed time to review the rosters prior to completing the nomination measures.

Study Constructs and Measures

  • Three broad constructs were of interest in this study: contextually relevant social skills in the peer group, social status, and positive school functioning.
  • In turn, children’s social skills were assessed by peer nominations and teacher ratings.
  • The number of nominations standardized by grade level and gender was highly correlated with that standardized by grade level only (rs = .90s).
  • As the focus of this study, a child’s within clique centrality, or visibility within the clique, was determined in two steps (Estell et al., 2008).

Descriptive Analyses of Peer- and TeacherAssessed Social Skills

  • Means and standard deviations of and correlations among study variables are presented in Table 2.
  • Teacher- and peer-assessed social skills were moderately correlated with each other, r = .51, p < .01.

Predictability for Social Status and Positive School Functioning

  • The authors examined the degree to which contextually relevant social skills predict children’s social status and positive school functioning.
  • Results did not suggest a collinearity problem: the tolerance and the VIF of the two predictors were 0.73 and 1.37, respectively.
  • Finally, the authors examined whether multilevel analyses should be conducted given the nested structure of the data (i.e., children nested in the classroom).
  • After controlling for peer-assessed social skills, teacher-assessed social skills did not uniquely and significantly predict children’s clique centrality (see Table 4).
  • Teacher-assessed social skills accounted for an additional 5% (sr = .23) of the variance in children’s school liking and 5% (sr = .22) of the variance in academic competence above and beyond that accounted for by peer-assessed social skills.

Gender as a Moderator

  • Finally, the authors examined whether the association between social skills and the study outcomes was moderated by gender.
  • For simplicity, the authors used peer-assessed social skills only as predictors because the results suggested that peer-assessed social skills are as good as or better than teacher-assessed social skills in predicting study outcomes.
  • Again, a series of multiple regression analyses and a logistic regression analysis were conducted.
  • Peer-assessed social skills, gender, and the interaction between the two served as predictors, and social status indicators and school functioning outcomes served as dependent variables.
  • Results indicated that none of the interactions were statistically significant across the outcomes, suggesting that the positive effects of social skills on social status and school functioning outcomes are similar for boys and girls.

Discussion

  • This study is grounded in the largely underexamined notion that children’s social skills are contextually bound; thus, the assessment of social skills should be context specific and consider the perceptions of the people involved in that context.
  • This study built on previous work that identified important and meaningful social skills in the peer group based on a contextual approach to assessment (Warnes et al., 2005).

Contextually Relevant Social Skills in the Peer Group

  • As anticipated, contextually relevant social skills were significantly related to a variety of indicators of children’s social status in the peer group and positive school functioning.
  • The demonstrated associations between social skills and a broad range of social status indicators uniquely adds to the literature because, unlike peer acceptance, perceived popularity, reciprocated friendships, and clique centrality have rarely been examined as outcome criteria of social skills.
  • The overall variance explained by peer- and teacher-assessed social skills together was greater for social status (18%–49%) than for positive school functioning (14%–24%).
  • These children were also rated as more popular by teachers.
  • The findings add to the literature on the incremental validity of different informants.

Gender Effect

  • Findings did not suggest that gender moderates the effect of social skills on children’s social status and positive school functioning.
  • That is, although research has shown gender differences in social skills favoring girls (Gresham & Elliott, 1990; Zakriski et al., 2005), social skills appear to be equally effective for both boys and girls for social and academic adjustment.
  • It should be noted, however, that the measure used in this study tapped heterogeneous facets of social skills that might or might not be gender specific.

Implications for Practice and Research

  • Whereas parents and teachers often serve as evaluators of children’s social skills, the results of this study support peers as promising evaluators of social skills.
  • Peer-assessed social skills might be useful in identifying children who lack in social skills and might benefit from social skills training.
  • They might be involved in a screening process.
  • A concrete and effective manifestation of prosocial behavior might depend on the specific relational context (Reis et al., 2000).
  • In contrast, it is believed that the development of social skills that are generalizable across settings should begin in a context that is immediate and natural to children such as the peer group (Sheridan et al., 1999).

Limitations and Future Directions

  • Generalizability of the findings should be considered in light of the study participants and setting.
  • As such, they may have more opportunities to interact with children and families outside of the classroom, thus, broadening the contexts within which rural teachers observe children’s skills.
  • Indeed, evidence suggests that the association between social and academic competence is reciprocal among children in the lower elementary years (Welsh, Parke, Widaman, & O’Neil, 2001).
  • Also, increased understanding is warranted in terms of personal and contextual factors that moderate, mediate, or both, the relation between social skills and various adjustment outcomes.
  • This study was supported by Federal Grant #R305B080010 awarded to Susan M. Sheridan and Todd Glover by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.

Contextually Relevant Social Skills.

  • Shows others kids that he/she cares when they are sad.
  • Does not say things that hurt other kids.
  • Lets other kids have their way sometimes when they disagree.
  • Does not get upset with other kids when he/she doesn’t get his/her way.
  • Hangs out with kids who take schoolwork seriously.

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

...read more

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Faculty Publications from CYFS
Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska
Center for Research on
2012
A Contextual Approach to Social Skills Assessment
in the Peer Group: Who Is the Best Judge?
Kyongboon Kwon
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, kwonk@uwm.edu
Elizabeth Moorman Kim
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Susan M. Sheridan
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ssheridan2@unl.edu
Follow this and additional works at: h>ps://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cyfsfacpub
Part of the Child Psychology Commons, Counseling Psychology Commons, Developmental
Psychology Commons, Family, Life Course, and Society Commons, and the Other Social and
Behavioral Sciences Commons
=is Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on at
DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Faculty Publications from CYFS by an authorized
administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Kwon, Kyongboon; Kim, Elizabeth Moorman; and Sheridan, Susan M., "A Contextual Approach to Social Skills Assessment in the
Peer Group: Who Is the Best Judge?" (2012). Faculty Publications om CYFS. 101.
h>ps://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cyfsfacpub/101

121
In the past decades, theoretical conceptualiza-
tions of children’s social skills and competence have
been more divergent than convergent. In an effort
to integrate theories of social competence, Dirks,
Treat, and Weersing (2007) identied four factors
involved in dening social competence: child, behav-
ior, situation, and judge. Among the four factors,
greatest emphasis has been placed on child and be-
havior in traditional denitions and assessment of
social competence and social skills. That is, some re-
search views children’s social skillfulness as a stable
and internal disposition that a child may or may not
possess, whereas other research views some behav-
iors as fundamentally adept or inept (see Gresham,
1986; McFall, 1982).
In contrast, less emphasis has been placed on
the situation or context in which the behavior takes
place or the relevance of the perspectives of those
who judge the behavior (Dirks et al., 2007; Dirks,
Treat, & Weersing, 2010). The situation and judge
are important to consider because individuals’ social
goals, cognitions, and behaviors are largely shaped
by the interpersonal relationships they form in a
specic context (Reis, Collins, & Berscheid, 2000;
Salmivalli & Peets, 2009). Relatedly, social demands
vary across settings and situations; thus, to be so-
cially successful, a person needs to be able to un-
derstand the demands in the context accurately
and behave accordingly (Sheridan, Hungelmann, &
Maughan, 1999). Thus, determining an individual’s
social skillfulness or decits might be neither con-
clusive nor maximally informative without under-
standing the context where the behaviors occur and
how they are perceived by the people in that context.
Published in School Psychology Quarterly 2012, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 121–133; doi 10.1037/a0028696
Copyright © 2012 American Psychological Association. Used by permission. “This article may not
exactly replicate the nal version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.”
Submitted October 14, 2011; revised April 3, 2012; accepted April 23, 2012; published online June 25, 2012.
A Contextual Approach to Social Skills Assessment in the
Peer Group: Who Is the Best Judge?
Kyongboon Kwon,
1
Elizabeth Moorman Kim,
2
and Susan M. Sheridan
2
1 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
2 Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Corresponding author — Kyongboon Kwon, Enderis 709, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201; email kwonk@uwm.edu
Abstract
Using a contextual approach to social skills assessment in the peer group, this study examined the crite-
rion-related validity of contextually relevant social skills and the incremental validity of peers and teachers
as judges of children’s social skills. Study participants included 342 (180 male and 162 female) students and
their classroom teachers (N = 22) from rural communities. As expected, contextually relevant social skills
were signicantly related to a variety of social status indicators (i.e., likability, peer- and teacher-assessed
popularity, reciprocated friendships, clique centrality) and positive school functioning (i.e., school liking and
academic competence). Peer-assessed social skills, not teacher-assessed social skills, demonstrated consis-
tent incremental validity in predicting various indicators of social status outcomes; peer- and teacher-as-
sessed social skills alike showed incremental validity in predicting positive school functioning. The relation
between contextually relevant social skills and study outcomes did not vary by child gender. Findings are
discussed in terms of the signicance of peers in the assessment of children’s social skills in the peer group
as well as the usefulness of a contextual approach to social skills assessment.
Keywords: a contextual approach, social skills assessment, incremental validity
digitalcommons.unl.edu

122 Kw o n , Ki m , & S h e r i d a n i n Sc h o o l P S y c h o l o g y Qu a r t e r l y 27 ( 20 12 )
A contextual approach to the assessment of so-
cial skills (Sheridan et al., 1999; Warnes, Sheri-
dan, Geske, & Warnes, 2005) appears useful to ll
this gap. Conceptually, a contextual approach to
the assessment of social skills recognizes that the
demands, goals, and rules of social behaviors dif-
fer across situations and participants, and, thus, a
child’s social skills need to be assessed in a context-
specic manner. Further, contextually relevant so-
cial skills should not only be relevant and meaning-
ful to others in that context but also predict socially
important outcomes for children; that is, they should
be socially valid (Gresham, 1986). In this study, we
focused on contextually relevant social skills in
the peer group that have been deemed meaningful
and important by children, parents, and teachers
(Warnes et al., 2005). Our rst goal was to demon-
strate the criterion-related validity of contextually
relevant social skills in the peer group by examin-
ing their predictability of children’s social status in
the peer group and positive school functioning. The
second goal was to examine the incremental validity
of peers and teachers as judges of children’s social
skills in the peer group (i.e., how peers’ and teach-
ers’ social skills assessment adds to the prediction
of outcomes over and above what is predicted by the
other source).
A Contextual Approach to Social Skills
Assessment in the Peer Group
Among the contexts within which children are
a part, the peer group becomes an increasingly im-
portant social context as children move through ele-
mentary school (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006).
To be successful in the peer group, children need to
understand and behave consistently with the im-
plicit and explicit social demands in that context.
When their behaviors are consistent with the peer
group demands, such as prosocial behaviors, chil-
dren are likely to be well accepted by and popu-
lar among peers, whereas they are likely to be re-
jected if their behaviors are contradictory to the peer
groups’ social rules and expectations (Hymel, Vail-
lancourt, McDougall, & Renshaw, 2002). Indeed,
children who display poor social skills tend to be
actively rejected, which leads to further long-term
poor outcomes (Burt, Obradović, Long, & Masten,
2008; Ladd & Troop-Gordon, 2003).
Social skillfulness and competence in the peer
group appears also to have signicant implica-
tions for school outcomes. Intuitively, learning in
school takes place in a highly social environment in
which peers and teachers exchange constant social
interactions (Elliott, Malecki, & Demaray, 2001).
Children who are engaged in aversive social inter-
actions such as aggression have poor academic out-
comes (Perdue, Manzeske, & Estell, 2009; Stipek &
Miles, 2008). In contrast, children who display so-
cial competence, broadly dened, are more engaged
in school cognitively, affectively, and behaviorally
(Perdue et al., 2009) and have higher achievement
(Jennings & DiPrete, 2010; Wentzel, 1991). It is
likely that social skills or lack thereof might facil-
itate or inhibit the processes of learning (Elliott et
al., 2001).
Empirical investigations of a contextual approach
to social skills assessment in the peer group have
been sparse. One exception is research conducted by
Warnes et al. (2005) in which the researchers asked
children, parents, and teachers what social skills
they deemed important in the peer group. Findings
suggested that, despite some intriguing differences
among reporters, they also identied many overlap-
ping behaviors. However, the manner in which those
contextually relevant social skills are related to chil-
dren’s adjustment has not been examined.
Peers and Teachers as Judges
of Children’s Social Skills
Peers and teachers have many opportunities to
“judge” or evaluate children’s social skills in the
peer group. Given that both peers and teachers
share some common environments in which they
observe a target child’s behavior (e.g., classroom,
lunchroom), they might show some agreement in
their perceptions of the child’s behaviors. In fact,
research has shown moderate consensus between
peers and teachers in their evaluations of children’s
social status (Landau, Milich, & Whitten, 1984;
Wu, Hart, Draper, & Olsen, 2001) and academic
skills (Gest, Domitrovich, & Welsh, 2005). How-
ever, different perceptions between teachers and
peers might also be important to consider given
their distinct social experiences with children. Rel-
ative to peers, teachers interact with students in a
limited context (e.g., instructional settings) and are

Co n t e x t u a l a p p r o a C h t o So C i a l S K i l l S aS S e S S m e n t i n pe e r G r o u p S 123
often indirectly involved in children’s peer interac-
tions. In contrast, peers have more direct contacts
and interactions with other children across multi-
ple situations and settings; thus, they likely have
opportunities to observe other children that are not
necessarily available to teachers. Indeed, there is a
long tradition of involving peers in the assessment
of children’s personal and interpersonal function-
ing. Specically, sociometric assessment, a method
of measuring interpersonal dynamics in a social
group, was developed as early as in the 1930s
(Moreno, 1934). A variant of sociometric assess-
ment in which children’s sociometric status is de-
termined based on “like-most” and “like-least” nom-
inations (Coie, Dodge, & Coppotelli, 1982) has also
been widely used in the past decades. Peers also
serve as valuable informants in the assessment of
children’s positive and negative social characteris-
tics (Masten, Morison, & Pellegrini, 1985).
Given the meaningful differences in the expe-
riences and perceptions between peers and teach-
ers, it is important to understand the incremental
validity of each as evaluators on children’s so-
cial skills. Incremental validity broadly concerns
the added prediction of different measures, meth-
ods, constructs, and informants (Johnston & Mur-
ray, 2003). In terms of the predictability of differ-
ent informants of social behaviors, ndings have
been mixed. For example, a study that involved
preschool children showed that teacher-rated, as
opposed to peer-nominated, popularity was more
strongly related to children’s social competence
(Connolly & Doyle, 1981). In contrast, another
study that involved kindergarten children showed
that peer-nominated popularity and rejection sta-
tus were more strongly related to children’s solitary
play and negative interactions than did teacher-
rated popularity (Landau et al., 1984). In regard
to adolescents’ disruptive behaviors, parent and
teacher reports were more strongly related to later
behavioral outcomes than were self-reports (Loe-
ber, Green, Lahey, & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1991).
These ndings together suggest that teachers and
peers might provide neither redundant nor incor-
rect information; rather, their incremental validity
might differ, depending on many factors, including
the type of behaviors assessed, outcome criteria,
and the child’s developmental stage.
This Study
This study builds on a previous study that iden-
tied contextually relevant social behaviors in the
peer group (Warnes et al., 2005). First, we demon-
strated the criterion-related validity of contextu-
ally relevant social skills by examining their pre-
dictability of children’s social status among peers
and their positive school functioning. Tradition-
ally, peer acceptance or sociometric popularity has
been considered among the major criteria to dene
and assess social skills (Gresham, 1986). However,
research has shown other related but distinct as-
pects of social success, including perceived popular-
ity, dyadic friendships, and clique centrality (Gest,
Graham-Bermann, & Hartup, 2001; Parkhurst &
Hopmeyer, 1998). In particular, a number of stud-
ies have shown that perceived popularity, albeit
related, is meaningfully distinct from sociometric
popularity (see Mayeux, Houser, & Dyches, 2011).
Thus, in addition to peer acceptance, we examined
whether socially skilled children also are perceived
as being popular, have more reciprocated friend-
ships, and enjoy high centrality in a smaller unit of
an afliation-based peer group (i.e., clique). In re-
gard to school functioning, we examined the predict-
ability of social skills for academic competence and
positive attitude toward school.
Second, we examined the incremental validity
of peer- and teacher-assessment of children’s social
skills in predicting the study outcomes. Whereas
teachers, parents, and the self have often served
as informants of social skills (Gresham & Elliott,
1990; Matson, Rotatori, & Helsel, 1983; Merrell,
1993), peers have been relatively underused in the
social skills assessment, per se. As discussed previ-
ously, given the frequency, proximity, and scope of
interactions, peers might be a particularly critical
source of information in understanding the associ-
ation between children’s social skills and their sta-
tus in the peer group. We speculated that, although
both teacher- and peer-assessed social skills predict
the outcomes of interest, the incremental validity
of peer assessment of social skills might be particu-
larly pronounced for social status. Findings of incre-
mental validity are believed to shed light on a more
sensitive source of information in children’s social
skills assessment (Hunsley & Meyer, 2003; John-
ston & Murray, 2003).

124 Kw o n , Ki m , & S h e r i d a n i n Sc h o o l P S y c h o l o g y Qu a r t e r l y 27 ( 20 12 )
Finally, as a secondary goal, we explored gen-
der as a moderator of the effect of social skills on
social status and school functioning outcomes. Re-
search suggests that, as compared with boys, girls
display higher levels of social skills (Gresham & El-
liott, 1990; Zakriski, Wright, & Underwood, 2005).
However, it is not clear whether the association be-
tween social skills and child outcomes is moderated
by gender. That is, are social skills more important
for girls than for boys, or vice versa, to enjoy high so-
cial status and positive school functioning? Results
would add to the literature on gender effects on chil-
dren’s social behaviors.
Method
Participants
Participants were 342 (180 male and 162 female)
students and their classroom teachers (N = 22)
from three elementary schools in Midwestern ru-
ral communities. Child participants were students
in Grades 3 (n = 112), 4 (n = 142), and 5 (n = 88),
with a mean age of 9.7 (SD = .9) years. According to
school records, 94% of students were White. For the
22 classroom teachers, all were White and 19 were
female. Their average years of teaching was 17.82
(SD = 10.66).
Procedures
Consent forms with a brief written study descrip-
tion were sent home for parents and were also dis-
tributed to teachers. Active parental consent was
required for a child to participate in the study. The
participating schools were in rural communities,
and the principals noted that students knew one
another in and out of school through the elementary
years and there were many opportunities for them
to interact across classrooms. Thus, we decided to
use grade-based as opposed to classroom-based peer
nominations. Accordingly, the consent rate was de-
termined across classrooms in a grade level. There
were two to ve classrooms per grade, and at least
75% of students in a grade in each school had to give
consent for the grade to participate in this study
(Hamilton, Fuchs, Fuchs, & Roberts, 2000). Among
the 11 units of third through fth grades initially
recruited, six units met the required consent rate,
which ranged from 77% to 91%.
Child assent was obtained and students were
told they were allowed to decline participation in
the study at any time. Condentiality was discussed
before the survey administration, and participants
were provided with an index card to cover their an-
swers. The questionnaires were group administered
for approximately an hour with one research team
member reading aloud the instructions and items
and the other member circulating in the classroom
to provide individual assistance. The grade level ros-
ter for peer nominations included only the names
of students whose parents gave consent, and chil-
dren were instructed to nominate only those stu-
dents who appeared on the roster. Each participat-
ing student had a number linked to his or her name,
and students were asked to write the number iden-
tier on any nomination measure. Students were al-
lowed time to review the rosters prior to completing
the nomination measures. Students whose parents
dissented or failed to return the form were asked to
read or draw quietly at their desks. Teachers com-
pleted the rating forms at their convenience, and
the forms were collected within a week after distri-
bution. A monetary honorarium was provided for
teachers, and stationary incentives were given to
all students in a participating grade.
Study Constructs and Measures
Three broad constructs were of interest in this
study: contextually relevant social skills in the peer
group, social status, and positive school functioning.
Study constructs, measures, and reporters are sum-
marized in Table 1.
Contextually relevant social skills in the
peer group. A total of 25 items (see the Appen-
dix) were adapted from a previous qualitative study
of a contextual approach to the assessment of chil-
dren’s social skills (Warnes et al., 2005). In turn,
children’s social skills were assessed by peer nom-
inations and teacher ratings. Children nominated
up to three peers who t each of the social skills de-
scriptions (e.g., “This person shows other kids that
he or she cares when they are sad,” “This person
keeps other kids’ secrets”). For each child, the num-
ber of nominations he or she received was summed
and standardized (M = 0, SD = 1) by grade level.
Standardization at the grade level controls for the
different number of students who give and receive
nominations across the grade levels. The number

Citations
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Child and adolescent patients may display mental health concerns within some contexts and not others (e.g., home vs. school). Thus, understanding the specific contexts in which patients display concerns may assist mental health professionals in tailoring treatments to patients' needs. Consequently, clinical assessments often include reports from multiple informants who vary in the contexts in which they observe patients' behavior (e.g., patients, parents, teachers). Previous meta-analyses indicate that informants' reports correlate at low-to-moderate magnitudes. However, is it valid to interpret low correspondence among reports as indicating that patients display concerns in some contexts and not others? We meta-analyzed 341 studies published between 1989 and 2014 that reported cross-informant correspondence estimates, and observed low-to-moderate correspondence (mean internalizing: r = .25; mean externalizing: r = .30; mean overall: r = .28). Informant pair, mental health domain, and measurement method moderated magnitudes of correspondence. These robust findings have informed the development of concepts for interpreting multi-informant assessments, allowing researchers to draw specific predictions about the incremental and construct validity of these assessments. In turn, we critically evaluated research on the incremental and construct validity of the multi-informant approach to clinical child and adolescent assessment. In so doing, we identify crucial gaps in knowledge for future research, and provide recommendations for "best practices" in using and interpreting multi-informant assessments in clinical work and research. This article has important implications for developing personalized approaches to clinical assessment, with the goal of informing techniques for tailoring treatments to target the specific contexts where patients display concerns. (PsycINFO Database Record

639 citations


Posted Content
TL;DR: This article critically evaluated research on the incremental and construct validity of the multi-informant approach to clinical child and adolescent assessment, and identified crucial gaps in knowledge for future research, and provided recommendations for "best practices" in using and interpreting multi-Informant assessments in clinical work and research.
Abstract: Child and adolescent patients may display mental health concerns within some contexts and not others (e.g., home vs. school). Thus, understanding the specific contexts in which patients display concerns may assist mental health professionals in tailoring treatments to patients’ needs. Consequently, clinical assessments often include reports from multiple informants who vary in the contexts in which they observe patients’ behavior (e.g., patients, parents, teachers). Previous meta-analyses indicate that informants’ reports correlate at low-to-moderate magnitudes. However, is it valid to interpret low correspondence among reports as indicating that patients display concerns in some contexts and not others? We meta-analyzed 341 studies published between 1989 and 2014 that reported cross-informant correspondence estimates, and observed low-to-moderate correspondence (mean internalizing: r = .25; mean externalizing: r = .30; mean overall: r = .28). Informant pair, mental health domain, and measurement method moderated magnitudes of correspondence. These robust findings have informed the development of concepts for interpreting multi-informant assessments, allowing researchers to draw specific predictions about the incremental and construct validity of these assessments. In turn, we critically evaluated research on the incremental and construct validity of the multi-informant approach to clinical child and adolescent assessment. In so doing, we identify crucial gaps in knowledge for future research, and provide recommendations for “best practices” in using and interpreting multi-informant assessments in clinical work and research. This article has important implications for developing personalized approaches to clinical assessment, with the goal of informing techniques for tailoring treatments to target the specific contexts where patients display concerns.

607 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Improvement among students whose parents and teachers experienced CBC significantly outpaced that of control students in their teacher-reported school problems and observational measures of their inappropriate and appropriate classroom behavior.
Abstract: The results of a large-scale randomized controlled trial of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) on student outcomes and teacher-parent relationships in rural schools are presented. CBC is an indirect service delivery model that addresses concerns shared by teachers and parents about students. In the present study, the intervention was aimed at promoting positive school-related social-behavioral skills and strengthening teacher-parent relationships in rural schools. Participants were 267 students in grades K-3, their parents, and 152 teachers in 45 Midwest rural schools. Results revealed that, on average, improvement among students whose parents and teachers experienced CBC significantly outpaced that of control students in their teacher-reported school problems and observational measures of their inappropriate (off-task and motor activity) and appropriate (on-task and social interactions) classroom behavior. In addition, teacher responses indicated significantly different rates of improvement in their relationship with parents in favor of the CBC group. Finally, the teacher-parent relationship was found to partially mediate effects of CBC on several student outcomes. Unique contributions of this study, implications of findings for rural students, study limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

58 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Research Findings: Researchers and policymakers emphasize that early childhood is a critical developmental stage with the potential to impact academic and social-emotional outcomes (G. Conti & J. J. Heckman, 2012; J. J. Heckman, 2012; R. Murnane, I. Sawhill, & C. Snow, 2012). Although there is substantial evidence that children's early prereading skills predict later academic achievement (K. M. La Paro & R. C. Pianta, 2000), there have been mixed findings regarding the contribution of early social skills to later achievement (e.g., G. J. Duncan et al., 2007). Using data from the national Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort, we found that subgroups of children with a combination of low/average reading skills and higher levels of social skills (86% of the sample) in kindergarten performed better on later academic assessments than children with similar reading skills but lower levels of social skills during kindergarten. In contrast, children who were very strong early readers (14% of the ...

38 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The curvilinear association between social anxiety and reciprocity highlights the importance of examining nonlinear relations in individuals with HFA, and emphasizes that discrete profiles of social anxiety in individualswith HFA may necessitate different treatment options.
Abstract: Children and adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA) display heterogeneity in social competence, which may be particularly evident during interactions with unfamiliar peers. The goal of this study was to examine predictors of social competence variability during an unfamiliar peer interaction. Thirty-nine participants with HFA and 39 age-, gender- and IQ-matched comparison participants were observed during dyadic laboratory interactions and detailed behavioral coding revealed three social competence dimensions: social initiative, social reciprocity, and social self-monitoring. Participants with HFA displayed higher social initiative but lower reciprocity than comparison participants. For participants with HFA, theory of mind was positively associated with observed initiative. For COM participants, social anxiety was negatively associated with reciprocity. However, for HFA participants, there was a quadratic relation between parent-reported social anxiety and observed reciprocity, demonstrating that low and high levels of anxiety were associated with low reciprocity. Results demonstrated the utility of our behavioral coding scheme as a valid assessment of social competence for children and adolescents with and without HFA. The curvilinear association between social anxiety and reciprocity highlights the importance of examining nonlinear relations in individuals with HFA, and emphasizes that discrete profiles of social anxiety in individuals with HFA may necessitate different treatment options.

31 citations


References
More filters

Book
27 May 1998
TL;DR: The book aims to provide the skills necessary to begin to use SEM in research and to interpret and critique the use of method by others.
Abstract: Designed for students and researchers without an extensive quantitative background, this book offers an informative guide to the application, interpretation and pitfalls of structural equation modelling (SEM) in the social sciences. The book covers introductory techniques including path analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, and provides an overview of more advanced methods such as the evaluation of non-linear effects, the analysis of means in convariance structure models, and latent growth models for longitudinal data. Providing examples from various disciplines to illustrate all aspects of SEM, the book offers clear instructions on the preparation and screening of data, common mistakes to avoid and widely used software programs (Amos, EQS and LISREL). The book aims to provide the skills necessary to begin to use SEM in research and to interpret and critique the use of method by others.

38,513 citations


"A contextual approach to social ski..." refers background in this paper

  • ...10 and the variance inflation factor (VIF) of greater than 10 may indicate extreme collinearity (Kline, 2011)....

    [...]


Book
01 Jan 1997
Abstract: VOLUME 1. 1. Developmental Science, Developmental Systems, and Contemporary Theories of Human Development (Richard M. Lerner). 2. Developmental Psychology: Philosophy, Concepts, Methodology (Willis F. Overton). 3. The Making of Developmental Psychology (Robert B. Cairns and Beverley D. Cairns). 4. Developmental Epistemology and Implications for Methodology (Jaan Valsiner). 5. The Significance of Biology for Human Development: A Developmental Psychobiological Systems Views (Gilbert Gottlieb, Douglas Wahlsten and Robert Lickliter). 6. Dynamic Systems Theories (Esther Thelen and Linda B. Smith). 7. Dynamic Development of Action and Thought (Kurt W Fischer and Thomas R. Bidell). 8. The Person in Context: A Holistic-Interactionistic Approach (David Magnusson and Hakan Stattin). 9. The Developing Person: An Experiential Perspective (Kevin Rathunde and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi). 10. Action Perspectives on Human Development (J. Brandstadter). 11. Life Span Theory in Developmental Psychology (Paul B. Baltes, Ulman Lindenberger and Ursula M. Staudinger). 12. The Life Course and Human Development (Glen H. Elder and Michael J. Shanahan). 13. The Cultural Psychology of Development: One Mind, Many Mentalities (Richard A. Shweder, Jacqueline J. Goodnow, Giyoo Hatano, Robert A. Levine, Hazel R. Markus and Peggy J. Miller). 14. The Bioecological Model of Human Development (Urie Bronfenbrenner and Pamela A. Morris). 15. Phenomenologitcal and Ecological Systems Theory: Development of Diverse Groups (Margaret Beale Spencer). 16. Positive Youth Development: Theory, Research, and Applications (Peter L. Benson, Peter C. Scales, Stephen F. Hamilton and Arturo Sesma). 17. Religious and Spiritual Development Throughout the Life Span (Fritz K. Oser, W. George Scarlett and Anton Bucher). Author Index. Subject Index. VOLUME 2. SECTION ONE: FOUNDATIONS. 1. Neural Bases of Cognitive Development (Charles A. Nelson, Kathleen M. Thomas and Michelle de Haan). 2. The Infant's Auditory World: Hearing, Speech, and the Beginnings of Language (Jenny R. Saffran, Janet F. Werker and Lynne A. Werner). 3. Infant Visual Perception (Philip J. Kellman and Martha E. Arterberry). 4. Motor Development (Karen E. Adolph and& Sarah E. Berger). 5. Infant Cognition (Leslie B. Cohen and Cara H. Cashon). SECTION TWO: COGNITION AND COMMUNICATION 6. Acquiring Linguistic Constructions (Michael Tomasello). 7. Early Word Learning (Sandra R. Waxman and Jeffrey L. Lidz). 8. Nonverbal Communication: The Hand's Role in Talking and Thinking (Susan Goldin-Meadow). SECTION THREE: COGNITIVE PROCESSES. 9. Event Memory (Patricia J. Bauer). 10. Information Processing Approaches to Development (Yuko Munakata). 11. Microgenetic Analysis of Learning (Robert S. Siegler). 12. Cognitive Strategies Michael Pressley and Katherine Hilden). 13. Reasoning and Problem Solving (Graeme S. Halford and Glenda Andrews). 14. Cognitive Science and Cognitive Development (Frank Keil). 15. Culture and Cognitive Development in Phylogenetic, Historical, and Ontogenetic Perspective (Michael Cole). SECTION FOUR: CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND ACHIEVMENTS. 16. Conceptual Development (Susan A. Gelman and Charles W. Kalish). 17. Development of Spatial Cognition (Nora S. Newcombe and Janellen Huttenlocher). 18. Development of Mathematical Understanding (David C. Geary). 19. Social Cognition (Paul L. Harris). 20. Development in the Arts: Drawing and Music (Ellen Winner). 21. Extraordinary Achievements: A Developmental and Systems Analysis (Seana Moran and Howard Gardner). SECTION FIVE: THE PERSPECTIVE BEYOND CHILDHOOD. 22. The Second Decade: What Develops (and how) (Deanna Kuhn and Sam Franklin). Author Index. Subject Index. VOLUME 3. 1. Introduction (Nancy Eisenberg). 2. The Development of the Person: Social Understanding, Relationships, Conscience, Self (Rosa A. Thompson). 3. Temperament (Mary K. Rothbart and John E. Bates). 4. Biology, Culture, and Temperamental Biases (Jerome Kagan and Nathan A. Fox). 5. Emotional Development: Action, Communication, and Understanding (Carolyn Saarni, Joseph J. Campos, Linda A. Camras and David Witherington). 6. Personality Development (Avshalom Caspi) and Rebecca L. Shiner. 7. Socialization Processes (Daphne Blunt Bugental and Joan E. Grusec). 8. Socialization in the Family: Etnnic and Ecological Perspectives (Ross D. Parke and Raymond Buriel). 9. The Self (Susan Harter). 10. Peer Interactions, Relationships, and Groups (Kenneth H. Rubin, William M. Bulkowski and Jeffrey G. Parker). 11. Prosocial Development (Nany Eisenberg, Richard A. Fabes and Tracy L. Spinrad). 12. Aggression and Antisocial Behavior in Youth (Kenneth A. Dodge, John D. Coie and Donald Lynam). 13. The Development of Morality (Elliot Turiel). 14. Gender Development (Diane N. Ruble, Carol Lynn martin and Sheri A. Berebaum). 15. Development of Achievement Motivation (Allan Wigfield, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Ulrich Schiefele, Robert W. Rosser and Pamela Davis-Kean). 16. Adolescent Development in Interpersonal Context (W. Andrew Collins and Laurence Steinberg). Author Index. Subject Index. VOLUME 4. PART I: INTRODUCTION. Applying Research to Practice (K. Renninger & I. Sigel). PART II: RESEARCH ADVANCED AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE IN EDUCATION. 1. Early Childhood Development and Education (M. Hyson, et al.). 2. Assessments of Early Reading (S. Paris & A. Paris). 3. Becoming Bilingual, Biliterate, and Bicultural (C. Snow & J. Kang). 4. Mathematical Thinking and Learning (E. De Corte & L. Verschaffel). 5. Scientific Thinking and Science Literacy (R. Lehrer & L. Schauble). 6. Character Education (D. Lapsley & D. Narvaez). 7. Learning Environments (P. Blumenfeld, et al.). PART III: RESEARCH ADVANCED AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CLINICAL APPLICATIONS. 8. Self-REgulations and Effort Investment (M. Boekaerts). 9. Risk and Prevention (R. Selman & A. Dray). 10. Learning Disabilities (V. Berninger). 11. Mental Retardation (R. Hodapp & E. Dykens). 12. Developmental Psychopathology and Preventive Intervention (D. Cicchetti & S. Toth). 13. Families and Early Childhood Interventions (D. Powell). 14. School-based Social and Emotional Learning Programs (J. Kress & M. Elias). PART IV: RESEARCH ADVANCED AND IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL POLICY AND SOCIAL ACTION. 15. Cultural Pathways Through Human Development (P. Greenfield, et al.). 16. Children and War Trauma (A. Klingman). 17. The Child and them Law (M. Bruck, et al.). 18. Media and Popular Culture (G. Comstock & E. Scharrer). 19. Children's Health and Education (C. Ramey, et al.). 20. Parenting Science and Practice (M. Bornstein). 21. Nonparental Child Care (M. Lamb & L. Ahnert). 22. Research to Practice Redefined (I. Sigel). Afterword.

9,845 citations


01 Jan 2011

5,196 citations


"A contextual approach to social ski..." refers background in this paper

  • ...10 and the variance inflation factor (VIF) of greater than 10 may indicate extreme collinearity (Kline, 2011)....

    [...]

  • ...A general guideline of collinearity diagnostics suggests that tolerance of less than .10 and the variance inflation factor (VIF) of greater than 10 may indicate extreme collinearity (Kline, 2011)....

    [...]


Book
01 Jul 1982
Abstract: Part I: Foundations of Multiple Regression Analysis. Overview. Simple Linear Regression and Correlation. Regression Diagnostics. Computers and Computer Programs. Elements of Multiple Regression Analysis: Two Independent Variables. General Method of Multiple Regression Analysis: Matrix Operations. Statistical Control: Partial and Semi-Partial Correlation. Prediction. Part II: Multiple Regression Analysis. Variance Partitioning. Analysis of Effects. A Categorical Independent Variable: Dummy, Effect, And Orthogonal Coding. Multiple Categorical Independent Variables and Factorial Designs. Curvilinear Regression Analysis. Continuous and Categorical Independent Variables I: Attribute-Treatment Interaction, Comparing Regression Equations. Continuous and Categorical Independent Variables II: Analysis of Covariance. Elements of Multilevel Analysis. Categorical Dependent Variable: Logistic Regression. Part III: Structural Equation Models. Structural Equation Models with Observed Variables: Path Analysis. Structural Equation Models with Latent Variables. Part IV: Multivariate Analysis. Regression, Discriminant, And Multivariate Analysis of Variance: Two Groups. Canonical, Discriminant, And Multivariate Analysis of Variance: Extensions. Appendices.

3,867 citations


"A contextual approach to social ski..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Specifically, squared semipartial correlations were examined, which indicate the increment in the proportion of variance in the outcomes accounted for by one source, above and beyond that accounted for by the other source (Pedhazur, 1997)....

    [...]


Reference EntryDOI
01 Jun 2007
Abstract: The chapter begins with a distinction made between the interactions children have with peers, the relationships they form with peers, and the groups and networks within which peer interactions and relationships occur. From this conceptual overview, a review of relevant theories is presented. Thereafter, a developmental perspective of peer interactions, relationships, and groups is presented covering the periods of infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. Subsequently, methods and measures pertaining to the study of children's peer experiences are described. Next, we examine factors that may account for peer acceptance and rejection as well as qualitatively rich and poor friendships. Among the factors discussed are included temperament (biological factors), sex of child, parenting, parent-child relationships, and culture. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the extent to which individual differences in peer acceptance, rejection and friendship (prevalence and quality) predict adaptive and maladaptive developmental outcomes and a suggested agenda for future research. Keywords: friendship; peer interactions; peer relationships; peer rejection; social acceptance; social competence

2,530 citations