WWC review of this study

Social skill training in an integrated preschool program.

Guglielmo, H. M., & Tryon, G. S. (2001). School Psychology Quarterly, 16(2), 158–175. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ632105

  • Randomized controlled trial
     examining 
    38
     Students
    , grade
    PK
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2013

Social-emotional development outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Frequency of "sharing" behaviors

Social Skills Training vs. Unknown

Posttest

Preschoolers;
38 students

5.69

2.79

Yes

 
 
37
More Outcomes

Frequency of "being in a group" behaviors

Social Skills Training vs. Unknown

Posttest

Preschoolers;
38 students

10.65

9.58

No

 
 
11

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 30%
    Male: 70%
  • Race
    Asian
    8%
    Black
    21%
    Not specified
    8%
    White
    34%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    29%
    Not Hispanic
    71%
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    New York

Setting

The study was conducted in a publicly-funded, privately-operated preschool in New York state.

Study sample

A total of nine integrated classrooms containing 58 children with developmental delays who qualified for special education participated in this study. Three intact classrooms were randomly assigned to each of three arms in this study (and the analysis was conducted on the eligible sample of students with developmental delays). Group A (n = 19 eligible children) received social skills training supplemented by classroom reinforcement of target behaviors. Group B (n = 19 eligible children) did not receive social skills training but did receive classroom reinforcement of target behaviors. Group C (n = 20 eligible children) did not receive either social skills training or classroom reinforcement of target behaviors. For the purpose of this WWC report, the evidence of the social skills training program is identified by comparing the children in the social skills training supplemented by classroom reinforcement group (Group A) against the children who did not receive social skills training but did receive classroom reinforcement of target behaviors (Group B). Additional contrasts for Group A against Group C are presented in Appendix D.3.

Intervention Group

Children in the three classrooms in Group A received social skills training using the “Taking Part: Introducing Social Skills to Children” program, coupled with classroom reinforcement of the behaviors targeted by the training: “sharing” and “being in a group.” During social skills training, children with developmental delays were instructed on how to join a group and to share with peers. Instructors modeled the activities for the children using puppets and a short skit. Following this activity, children practiced the sharing skills with their peers. Children were given specific instructions on behaviors in which to engage, including establishing eye contact, tapping children on the shoulder as a means to gain attention, and asking to play with others. Children in Groups A and B received classroom reinforcement of target behaviors, which included continuous verbal acknowledgment of positive behaviors and tangible rewards. The intervention lasted for approximately 20 to 30 minutes each day for a total of eight days.

Comparison Group

Children in the comparison group (C) did not receive any social skills training but did receive classroom reinforcement of target behaviors.

Outcome descriptions

There were two primary outcomes in this study in the social-emotional development and behavior domain. The frequency of each of the two “sharing” and “being in a group” behaviors was assessed through direct observations of children. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

A scripted example lesson plan for social skills training was presented as an appendix in the study. The first author taught two one-hour training sessions on modeling and role-playing for classroom reinforcement of target behaviors to the teachers and teacher assistants.

 

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