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Social Competence Samantha Katz Social and Personality Development November 4, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Competence Samantha Katz Social and Personality Development November 4, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Competence Samantha Katz Social and Personality Development November 4, 2004

2 Overview Definition of social competenceDefinition of social competence Social competence at different stages of developmentSocial competence at different stages of development How social competence is attainedHow social competence is attained Social Information Processing ModelSocial Information Processing Model Assessment of social competenceAssessment of social competence

3 Defining Social Competence Single biggest challenge for the literatureSingle biggest challenge for the literature In 1973 the Office of Child Development brought together a panel of 12 experts to define this term.In 1973 the Office of Child Development brought together a panel of 12 experts to define this term. They developed a list of 29 capacities/behaviors believed to be facets of social competence (Anderson & Messick, 1974)They developed a list of 29 capacities/behaviors believed to be facets of social competence (Anderson & Messick, 1974) Concept of self as initiating and controlling agentConcept of self as initiating and controlling agent Habits of personal maintenance and careHabits of personal maintenance and care Language SkillsLanguage Skills Problem Solving SkillsProblem Solving Skills

4 Various Definitions of Social Competence DefinitionAuthor An organisms capacity to interact effectively with its environment White, 1959 The effectiveness of adequacy with which an individual is capable of responding to various problematic situations which confront him Goldfried & DZurilla, 1969 An individuals everyday effectiveness in dealing with his environment Zigler, 1973 Productive and mutually satisfying interactions between a child and peers or adults OMalley, 1977 The competent individual is one who is able to make use of environmental and personal resources to achieve a good developmental outcome Waters & Sroufe, 1983 The ability to achieve personal goals in social interaction while simultaneously maintaining positive relationships with others over time and across settings Rubin & Rose- Krasnor, 1992

5 Defining Social Competence Some definitions place greater emphasis on relationships, others on skills, and others on outcomeSome definitions place greater emphasis on relationships, others on skills, and others on outcome Commonality among the definitions:Commonality among the definitions: Effectiveness in interaction Effectiveness in interaction The ability to guide the behaviors and contingent responses of others to meet ones own goals The ability to guide the behaviors and contingent responses of others to meet ones own goals

6 The ability to use environmental and personal re- sources to achieve a good developmental outcome. (Waters & Sroufe, 1983) Key advantage of this perspective: Developmental perspective allows for great flexibility while maintaining a single integrative definition Developmental perspective allows for great flexibility while maintaining a single integrative definition Useful for age appropriate assessment or research Useful for age appropriate assessment or research Focus of adaptation rather than on specific skills Focus of adaptation rather than on specific skills

7 Developmental Perspective Need to focus on different behaviors at different ages as exemplars of social competenceNeed to focus on different behaviors at different ages as exemplars of social competence Key question: What Develops?Key question: What Develops? Select issues central to each developmental periodSelect issues central to each developmental period

8 Infancy 0-3 months – physiological regulation 0-3 months – physiological regulation 3-6 months – management of tension 3-6 months – management of tension 6-12 months – establishing an affective attachment relationship 6-12 months – establishing an affective attachment relationship months – exploration and mastery months – exploration and mastery recognition of peers as social partners recognition of peers as social partners

9 The Toddler Years Individuation and autonomyIndividuation and autonomy Flexibility, resourcefulness, and the ability to use adult assistance without being overly dependent on it Complementary and reciprocal play structures with peersComplementary and reciprocal play structures with peers The beginning of stable friendshipsThe beginning of stable friendships

10 The Preschool Years Impulse management and sex-role identificationImpulse management and sex-role identification Social knowledge of the peer groupSocial knowledge of the peer group Empathy, high levels of positive affect, low levels of negative affect (Sroufe 1983; Sroufe et al. 1981)Empathy, high levels of positive affect, low levels of negative affect (Sroufe 1983; Sroufe et al. 1981) Deal flexibly with a situation by exchanging information with others – initiate interaction, respond contingently to social gestures of others, refrain from overt expression of negative behaviors (Lieberman 1977)Deal flexibly with a situation by exchanging information with others – initiate interaction, respond contingently to social gestures of others, refrain from overt expression of negative behaviors (Lieberman 1977)

11 Middle Childhood Self confidenceSelf confidence Peer group membership and close friends (Elicker, Englund, & Sroufe, 1992)Peer group membership and close friends (Elicker, Englund, & Sroufe, 1992) Positive social orientation - sense of humor, good at helping, sharing, and taking turns, friendly, and well-liked (McDowell et al. 2002)Positive social orientation - sense of humor, good at helping, sharing, and taking turns, friendly, and well-liked (McDowell et al. 2002)

12 Adolescence Formation of intimate relationships (friendships and sexual relationships) Formation of intimate relationships (friendships and sexual relationships) A deeper commitment to friendships A deeper commitment to friendships Operating within a network of relationships Operating within a network of relationships Coordination of intimate relationships, within-group interactions, and larger social network (Englund et al. 2000) Coordination of intimate relationships, within-group interactions, and larger social network (Englund et al. 2000)

13 How Do Children Develop Social Competence? Through their relationships with their parents AttachmentAttachment Emotional CompetenceEmotional Competence Through their relationships with peers

14 Attachment and Social Competence Motivational BaseMotivational Base Attitudinal BaseAttitudinal Base Instrumental BaseInstrumental Base Emotional BaseEmotional Base Relational BaseRelational Base ( Sroufe, Egeland & Carlson, 1999)

15 Attachment and Social Competence Studies have shown the relationship between early attachment and the social competence of children of all ages Securely attached toddlers exhibited more symbolic play, were more enthusiastic, more compliant, and showed more positive affect than insecurely attached children (Matas et al. 1978)Securely attached toddlers exhibited more symbolic play, were more enthusiastic, more compliant, and showed more positive affect than insecurely attached children (Matas et al. 1978) Quality of attachment at 15 months predicted Q-sort assessments of social competence at 3 ½ years (Waters, Wippman, & Sroufe, 1979)Quality of attachment at 15 months predicted Q-sort assessments of social competence at 3 ½ years (Waters, Wippman, & Sroufe, 1979) Attachment at 12 and 18 months predicted summer camp counselor evaluations of 10 year old childrens social competence (Elicker, Englund, & Sroufe, 1992)Attachment at 12 and 18 months predicted summer camp counselor evaluations of 10 year old childrens social competence (Elicker, Englund, & Sroufe, 1992)

16 Parenting and Emotional Competence Emotional ExpressivenessEmotional Expressiveness Emotional RegulationEmotional Regulation Emotional KnowledgeEmotional Knowledge Socialization of Emotion: Modeling Socialization of Emotion: Reactions Socialization of Emotions: Coaching Understanding of Emotions Expression of Emotion Social Competence and Emotion Regulation Denham, 1998

17 Path from Emotional Competence to Social Competence Mothers Positive Expressivity Mothers Negative Expressivity Childs Regulation Childs Externalizing Behavior Problems Childs Internalizing Behavior Problems Childs Social Competence Eisenberg et al. (2001)

18 Parental Role in Childrens Peer Relationships Key method for parents to improve childrens social competency initiate peer interactions Leads to: Large number of different playmates More consistent companions in nonschool settings Greater peer acceptance (for boys) (Ladd & Golter, 1988)

19 Peer Relationships Without healthy play, especially group play, human nature cannot rightly develop (Cooley, 1909) Rhesus monkeys and peer deprivation

20 Peer Relationships Peer Modeling Pretend Play Friendships

21 Peer Modeling Altruism – sharing in nursery children (Hartup& Coates, 1967) Aggression – aggression in preschoolers (Hicks, 1965) Emotional Behavior – dog phobias in preschoolers (Bandura, Grusec & Menlove, 1967) Children imitate the behaviors of their peers

22 Pretend Play Correlation between pretend play in preschool and social competence among preschoolers (Howes & Matheson, 1992; Shin, 1995) Pretend Play helps children practice: 1. Out-of-play negotiations 2. Enactment of pretend episodes ( Doyle & Connolly, 1989)

23 Friendships Peer relationships provide: A context for acquiring a variety of competencies Resources for emotional support enabling exploration Precursors for other relationships Among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, children who maintained friendships over the course of a year displayed greater social competence The number of frequent play companions preschoolers had in the playground was positively correlated with social competence ( Price & Ladd, 1986)

24 Dodges Social Information Processing Model Five Steps: 1-Encode social cues 2-Mentally represent encoded cues and interpret them 3-Access or generate potential behavioral responses 4-Evaluation and decision 5-Enact the chosen response Children are not necessarily consciously aware of moving through these steps

25 Reciprocal Influence Model of Aggression Ecological Input: Values Norms Social Information Processing Encoding Deciding Enacting Peers antisocial behavior toward child Childs aggression toward peer Situational stimulus Social Information Processing Dislike by peer Ecological Input Constitutional Input Longitudinal Outcomes Academic failure Delinquency Constitutional Input: Temperament Attentional limits Memory & Goals

26 Evaluating the Social Information Processing Model Show child video of two children engaged in a difficult social situation. Ask questions that assess proficiency at each step of model Step 3 – Think of as many ways as possible to join the group Step 5 – Could you show me how you would ask me if you could play with me? Steps 1, 3, 4, 5 each predicted success uniquely Significant differences in information processing in children rated as high and low in social competence

27 Assessing Social Competence (Waters and Sroufe, 1983) Broadband versus narrow assessmentBroadband versus narrow assessment Real behavior versus laboratory behaviorReal behavior versus laboratory behavior Emphasize coordination of affect, cognition, and behaviorEmphasize coordination of affect, cognition, and behavior Tax behavioral and integrative capacityTax behavioral and integrative capacity

28 Methods for Assessing Social Competence ObservationsObservations Q-SortsQ-Sorts Peer and teacher nominationsPeer and teacher nominations

29 Observations In infants, observe how infants act in Ainsworths Strange Situation TaskIn infants, observe how infants act in Ainsworths Strange Situation Task Observe child during problem solving task – affect, verbal negativism, frustration, excessive dependence on others, compliance with suggestions of others (Matas et al., 1978)Observe child during problem solving task – affect, verbal negativism, frustration, excessive dependence on others, compliance with suggestions of others (Matas et al., 1978) Observe child during peer play – ability and willingness to interact with other, affect, chain of exchanges, etc. (Lieberman, 1977)Observe child during peer play – ability and willingness to interact with other, affect, chain of exchanges, etc. (Lieberman, 1977)

30 Q-Sorts Items pertaining to a given construct are sorted into piles depending on how representative they are of a given child. Sample Items from Block and Blocks California Child Q-set: Is admired and sought out by other childrenIs admired and sought out by other children Develops genuine and close relationshipsDevelops genuine and close relationships Is cheerfulIs cheerful Tends to be sulky and whinyTends to be sulky and whiny

31 Advantages of Q-Sorts Observers are unaware of the constructs that will be evaluated from their dataObservers are unaware of the constructs that will be evaluated from their data Response bias is reducedResponse bias is reduced Observers do not need to have knowledge of norms for the itemsObservers do not need to have knowledge of norms for the items (Waters et al., 1985)

32 Peer, Teacher, and Self Reports Peers Report Show children pictures of classmates – place them in like a lot, kind of like, and do not like boxes Show children pictures of classmates – place them in like a lot, kind of like, and do not like boxes Teacher Report Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation Short Form (LaFreniere & Dumas, 1996)Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation Short Form (LaFreniere & Dumas, 1996) Teacher Checklist of Peer Relations (Coie & Dodge, 1988).Teacher Checklist of Peer Relations (Coie & Dodge, 1988). Self Report Susan Harters Perceived Social Competence ScaleSusan Harters Perceived Social Competence Scale

33 Summary Social competence is difficult to define The same construct presents itself differently at different stages of development Parents contribute to the development of their childrens social competence through their attachment relationship and through teaching emotional competence Peers contribute through modeling, pretend play, and friendships Social competence can be assessed through observations, Q-sorts, and parent, teacher, and self nominations

34 Future Directions Social Competence in adults Longitudinal studies evaluating the relationship between social competency in children and in adults Evaluating relationship between peer and parent influences on social competency

35 References Dodge, K. A., Pettit, G.S., McClaskey, C.L., & Brown, M.M. (1986). Social competence in children. With commentary by John M. Gottman. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 51, Waters, E. & Sroufe, L.A. (1983). Social competence as a developmental construct. Developmental Review, 3, Anderson, S. & Messick, S. (1974). Social competency in young children. Developmental Psychology, 10, Asher, S.R., Singleton, L.C., Tinsley, B.R., & Hymel, S. (1979). A reliable sociometric measure for preschool children. Developmental Psychology, 15, Denham, S.A. (1998). Emotional Development in Young Children New York: Guilford Press. Denham, S.A., Blair, K. A., DeMulder, E., Levita, J., Sawyer, K. et al. (2003). Preschool emotional competence: pathway to social competence? Child Development, 74, Dodge, K.A. (1986). A social information processing model of social competence in children. Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology, 18, Dodge, K.A. (1985). Facets of social interaction and the assessment of social competence in children. In B.H. Schneider, K.H. Rubin, & J.E. Ledingham Childrens Peer Relations: Issues in Assessment and Intervention (pp. 3-22). New York: Springer-Verlag. Eisenberg, N., Thompson Gershoff, E., Fabes, R.A., Shepard, S. A. Cumberland, A.J. et al. (2001). Mothers emotional expressivity and childrens behavior problems and social competence: Mediation through childrens regulation. Developmental Psychology, 37, Elicker, J., Englund, M., & Sroufe, L.A. (1992). Predicting peer competence and peer relationships in childhood from early parent-child relationships. In R.D. Parke & G.W. Ladd (Eds.), Family-Peer Relationships: Modes of Linkage (pp ). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

36 References Englund, M.M., Levy, A.K., Hyson, D.M., & Sroufe, L.A. (2000). Adolescent social competence: effectiveness in a group setting, Child Development, 71, Hartup, W.W. (1970). Peer interaction and social organization. In P.H. Mussen (Ed.), Carmichaels Manual of Child Psychology (pp ). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Howes, C. (1983). Patterns of friendship. Child Development, 54, Howes, C. (1987). Social competence with peers in young children: Developmental sequences. Developmental Review, 7, Howes, C. & Matheson, C.C. (1992). Sequences in the development of competent play with peers: Social and social pretend play. Developmental Psychology, 28, Lieberman, A.F. (1977). Preschoolers competence with a peer: Relations with attachment and peer experiences. Child Development, 48, Matas, L., Arend, R.A., & Sroufe, L.A. (1978). Continuity of adaptation in the second year: the relationship between quality of attachment and later competence. Child Development, 49, McDowell, D.J., Kim, M., ONeil, R., Parke, R.D. (2002). Childrens emotional regulation and social competence in middle childhood: the role of maternal and paternal interactive style. Marriage and Family Review, 34, Parke, R.D., ONeil, R., Isley, S., et al. (1998). Family-peer relationships: Cognitive, emotional, and ecological determinants. In M. Lewis & C. Feiring (Eds)., Families, Risk, and Competence (pp ). Mahwah: Lawrence Earlbaum.

37 References Price, J.M. & Ladd, G.W. (1986). Assessment of childrens friendships: implications for social competence and social adjustment. Behavioral Assessment of Children and Families, 2, Rubin, K.H., & Rose-Krasnor, L. (1992). Interpersonal problem solving and social competence in children. In V.B. Van Hasselt & M. Hersen (Eds.). Handbook of Social Development : A Lifespan Perspective (pp ). New York: Plenum Press. Rose-Krasnor, L. (1991). The nature of social competence: A theoretical review. Social Development, 6, Shin, Y. (1995). Relationship between friendship, social competence, and social pretend play: Comparison between Korean-and Anglo-American Preschoolers. Adong Hakhoe chi, 16, Sroufe, L.A. (1983). Infant-caregiver attachment and patterns of adaptation in preschool: The roots of maladaptation and competence. Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology, 16, Sroufe, L.A., Egeland, B., & Carlson, E.A. (1999). One social world: The integrated development of parent-child and peer relationships. Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology, 30, Sroufe, L.A., Schork, E., Motti, F., Lawroski, N., & LaFreniere, P. (1984). The role of affect in social competence. In C.E. Izard, J. Kagan, & R.B. Zajonc (Eds.), Emotions, Cognition, and Behavior (pp ). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Waters, E., Noyes, D.M., Vaughn, B.E., Ricks, M. (1985). Q-Sort definitions of social competence and self- esteem: discriminant validity of related constructs in theory and data. Developmental Psychology, 21, Waters, E., Wippman, J., & Sroufe, L.A. (1979). Attachment, positive affect, and competence in the peer group: Two studies in construct validation. Child Development, 50,

38 Reviewers Lisa Burckell Lea Dougherty


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