Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)






Social competency training is a common intervention for students at risk for developing

or classified with emotional/behavioral disorders. However, a review of research indicated that it

is only mildly effective in producing significant outcomes for these students. A number of

factors have been identified as possibly impacting the success of social competency training,

including: the intervention setting, the timing of intervention, characteristics of participants,

characteristics of interventions and the outcome measurements ~d. A review of literature was

conducted to evaluate these factors. Findings of the review indicate that there are not significant

differences between interventions conducted in regular education and resource or small group

settings. The most compelling results were from interventions based in self-contained or

specialized settings; however, there were only a small number of studies in this setting. Timing

of intervention does not appear to be a significant factor. In the studies reviewed, outcomes

were slightly more positive for pre-school and kindergarten age children and older elementary

school age students compared to first and second grade age groups. In terms of participant

characteristics, students with the most severe behaviors and students with externalizing behaviors

were more positively impacted than students with mild or moderate behaviors or internalizing

behaviors. Characteristics of the most successful interventions were those with individualization

procedures, treatment matched to symptoms, programs using the First Step to Success, the use of

emotional competency training, interventions using peers as trainers or role models and the use

of specific behavioral strategies, such as group contingencies. The outcome measurements with

the most compelling results were direct observations, followed by socio-metrics and self-reports.

Academic assessments and rating scales had the least significant outcomes. Limitations include

comparing studies with single subject designs to studies using control group designs and drawing

conclusions based on small numbers of studies with specific characteristics.

Included in

Psychology Commons