March 6, 2003
The first of the ten articles to be discussed examined a training program that consisted of an individualized, classroom-based social skills intervention. In the study, there were 45 children with learning disabilities 9-12 years old. These children were in self-contained special education classrooms. Thirteen children received intervention for 6 weeks and 7 children received intervention for 12 weeks. The remaining 25 children were in the control group, which received no intervention. The intervention consisted of the SST and AST programs. These programs were designed to facilitate social problem solving, role-playing, and modeling of appropriate social behavior. The children were given the treatment in the form of games much like Monopoly. Moderate gains in social skills and a decrease in problem behavior were found in the group of thirteen children who received the 6-week intervention when compared to the control group. Corresponding changes were not observed for the group of 7 children who received 12 weeks of intervention. The study suggested that this was due to the dynamics of that particular classroom. Additionally, the authors commented that a threat to validity in this study was the lack of random assignment of students to groups. An interesting result of this study was that the intervention prevented deterioration of peer relations while not actually improving peer acceptance. (Weiner & Harris, 1997).
A second research study considered language learning disabilities and social skills. This study employed 100 children 8-12 years old. 50 children had language learning disabilities and 50 control children did not. The 100 children, children with LLD and the control children, were given measures in intelligence, language skill, and social discourse individually in interviews over an hour and a half. Furthermore, their teachers were asked to complete a Social Skills Rating Scale that compared the... [continues]
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