Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


D. Kim Openshaw


The purpose of this research was to assess the efficacy of a 9-week social skills training (SST) program for improving the social competence of adolescent sex offenders. The study was conducted at an outpatient treatment center, Intermountain Sexual Abuse Treatment Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah. A pretest-posttest control group design was utilized and comparisons were made on a variety of self- and parent-report measures to examine treatment effects. The results indicate that the experimental group was able to acquire the specific SST behaviors to a far greater degree than expected by chance. However, evidence of increased social competence outside the training context is somewhat more equivocal. Implications for treatment programs and further research needs are discussed.