Graduate Research Papers

Best practices in social skills training with preschool children

Kathleen M. Twohig, University of Northern Iowa

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This review of literature focuses on several aspects of social skills training with preschool children. The importance of positive social skills is discussed. Numerous definitions are offered, and a clarification is made between social skills and social competence. The review highlights how social skills deficits may be classified and common dimensions of social skills. Issues and methods in assessment are explained. Finally, effective interventions that have received empirical research support are described as well as issues in generalization. Further research should address the following questions: What specific social skills are appropriate for certain ages? How do boys and girls differ in their social skills at certain ages and how are social skills affected as children mature? Is the developmental timing of social skills training important? What cultural and environmental issues pertain to social skills training? What type of setting for social skills training with preschool children is most effective? Is collaboration between teachers and other educators (e.g., school psychologists) an effective way to teach children social skills in the classroom? How can educators involve parents more fully in the social skills training process? What are best practices in the generalization of social skills for preschool children? What strategies are preschools using to teach children social skills?