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A meta-analysis of interventions to improve social competence in early childhood Adam S. Kennedy Loyola University Chicago.

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Presentation on theme: "A meta-analysis of interventions to improve social competence in early childhood Adam S. Kennedy Loyola University Chicago."— Presentation transcript:

1 A meta-analysis of interventions to improve social competence in early childhood Adam S. Kennedy Loyola University Chicago

2 Outline I.Introduction A. Social competence B. Children with special needs C. Social competence interventions II.Meta-analysis A. Methods B. Results C. Discussion, limitations, next steps 2

3 I. S ocial competence in action Healthy peer relations (Vaughn et al., 2001) Positive self concept Appropriate social skills (e.g., Rose-Krasnor, 1985) Healthy relations with adults (e.g., Guralnick et al., 2007) Accurate social perceptions Productive internal attributions Achieving ones social goals (Renshaw & Asher, 1983) 3

4 In research on preschoolers Initiations Responses Behavioral change Play invitations Overall competence as perceived by others 4

5 Benefits of social competence (Odom et al., 1995) Reinforces protective web of general competence Higher social functioning and adjustment Entry into advanced exchanges Acknowledgement, acceptance, achievement 5

6 When social competence is poor Emotional and behavior disorders (e.g., McElwain & Volling, 2005) Rates of failure in kindergarten and beyond (e.g., Hinshaw, 1992; Ladd & Coleman, 1997; Missall & Hojnoski, 2008) Disciplinary action in school Engagement with law enforcement (Entwisle & Alexander, 1999; Raver, 2002) Dissatisfaction with life 6

7 Children with special needs Less frequent interactions/conversations (e.g., Stanton-Chapman et el., 2007) Fewer successful social bids with peers More disruptive entry (Guralnick et al., 1995; Kopp et al., 1992) More often rejected (Odom et al, 1998) Fewer friendships (Guralnick et al, 1995; Kopp et al., 1992) Less positive affect Less likely to lead group play (Guralnick et al., ) 7

8 Types of interventions Naturalistic interventions/environmental arrangement (e.g., Brown & Odom, 1995; Odom et al., 1999) Social skills instruction (Vaughn et al., 2003) Behavioral strategies (e.g., Lowenthal, 1996) –Structured play (DeKlyen & Odom, 1989) Combined approaches (Hundert & Houghton, 1992) 8

9 Delivery of these interventions Family-based interventions (Sheridan et al., 2008) Peer mediated interventions (Strain & Odom, 1986) Adult/Teacher-mediated (Lowenthal, 1996; Brestan & Eyberg, 1998; Odom et al., 1999) Caregiver-mediated (Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997) Combined 9

10 Relevant syntheses Beerman (1994): –Moderate overall effect:.45 Vaughn et al (2003): –Moderate effects: social skills instruction –Large effects: BD, autism, teacher-mediated/behavioral, generalization –Varied outcomes: HI, delay Various meta-analyses of ASD studies 10

11 Research questions 1.What are the features of studies examining the effects of social competence interventions? How is social competence operationalized when studying preschool- aged children with special needs? 2.What does existing evidence suggest regarding the effects of social competence interventions? 3.Does variation exist in the effects of these interventions? 4.If variation exists, can it be explained by study features? 5.What future research directions are suggested? 11

12 Literature search Databases –PsycINFO –ProQuest Education Complete –ERIC via EBSCO –Academic Search Premier –Digital Dissertations –Government Printing Office –PapersFirst Tables of contents –TECSE, JEI, JABA, additional publications previously covered Secondary search of reference lists/authors Literature reviews 12

13 Inclusionary Criteria 1965 and 2008 Participants of preschool age Group designs with control Published or unpublished Measures of social skills, competence or multiple dependent measures 13

14 Coding Study variables source context of study dependent measures treatment fidelity follow-up generalization differences at pre-test randomization Intervention variables type interventionist duration context setting Participant variables demographics disability categories ethnicity 14

15 Inter-rater reliability 15 Coding categoryPercent agreement Bibliographical information100% Study context100% Participants97.7% Intervention95.0% Methods100% Effect size96.0% OVERALL98.1%

16 IV. Results Features of the published literature Overall effect size Effects by intervention type and subtype Effects by participant characteristics Summary 16

17 Initial search results Search EngineResultsScreenedCoded/ Included ERIC / 8 PsychINFO / 4 ProQuest Dissertations & Theses / 8 EBSCO Academic Search Premier / 3 ProQuest Education Complete / 2 Government Printing Office Publications / 0 PapersFirst / 0 TOTAL /25 17

18 Results of hand search of relevant publications PublicationHand search results SRSRSRSRSR Child Development Early Childhood Development and Care First published Journal of Applied Dev. Psychology First published Topics in Early Child- hood Special Education First published Early Childhood Research Quarterly First published Early Childhood Research and Practice First published Total S=screenedR=retained 18

19 Representation of studies across time periods Total Number of included studies Number of effect sizes % of total effect sizes 0%9%13%47%31% 19

20 Affiliation of primary authors Discipline# of studies% of total studies Psychology/ Child development 1144% Education 624% Unknown 520% Public health/ Public policy 28% Social work 14% Total25100% 20

21 Contexts of included studies Context# of studies Participant N % of total N Urban970835% Metropolitan area460630% Not reported % Suburban11005% Total % 21

22 Intervention settings in included studies Setting# of studies Participant N % of total N Preschool % Head Start577238% Elementary school3734% Day care222911% Lab school1322% Total % 22

23 Ethnicity of participating children EthnicityTotal N% of total N Caucasian36818% Non-white, predominantly African-American 76338% Not reported88844% Total2019(100%) 23

24 Disability categories of participating children CategoryTreated groupsTreated N% of total treated N Hearing impairment 2333% Speech and language disorder 2839% Emotional disorder/abused % At risk due to economic disadvantage and/or social isolation % Diverse, containing a range of disability categories % Total32976(100%) 24

25 Duration of interventions in included studies Duration# of treated groups Treated N % of total treated N Up to 2 weeks3333% 2 weeks to 1 month18 1% 1 to 3 months % 4 to 6 months615616% 7 to 9 months546748% Total32976(100%) 25

26 Findings: Random effects model 25 included studies with 31 effect sizes Homogeneity Q = (p<0.001) Mean ES = 0.388* (0.230 to 0.546) Range = to

27 Funnel plot for analysis of publication bias 27

28 Moderators: Publication type/period *p<.05, ** p<.01 Moderatorkd95% confidence intervalQbQb Low estimate High estimate Publication type (0.471) Published ** (0.421**) (0.249) (0.594) Unpublished ** (0.273) (-0.113) (0.659) Time period * (3.741) Pre (0.508**) (-0.137) (1.153) (0.527**) (-0.220) (1.274) ** (0.279**) (0.074) (0.483) **

29 Moderators: Intervention duration Moderatorkd95% confidence interval QbQb Low estimate High estimate Duration of intervention (6.833) Up to 2 weeks ** weeks to 1 month (-0.165) (-1.041) (0.711) 1 to 3 months ** (0.439**) (0.206) (0.672) 4 to 6 months ** (0.360) (-0.219) (0.938) 7 to 9 months ** (0.290**) (0.152) (0.428) 29

30 Moderators: Disability categories Moderatorkd95% confidence interval QbQb Low estimate High estimate Disability categories represented (2.722) Hearing impairment Speech/language delay/disorder (-0.079) (-1.195) (1.037) Emotional/behavioral problems ** (0.432*) (0.091) (0.773) At-risk ** (0.388**) (0.163) (0.613) Variety of disabilities ** (0.429**) (0.114) (0.745)

31 Moderators: Intervention type Moderatorkd95% confidence intervalQbQb Low estimate High estimate Intervention type (3.723) Environmental arrangement Instructional ** ( 0.409**) (0.238) (0.581) Behavioral ** (0.537) (-0.151) (1.224) Combined *p<.05, ** p<.01 31

32 Moderators: Dependent variable Moderatorkd95% confidence interval QbQb Low estimate High estimate Indicator of social competence (0.829) Emotional knowledge ** Cooperative play behaviors ** (0.399**) (0.201) (0.597) Overall social skills/competence ** (0.310**) (0.076) (0.544) Social problem-solving ** (0.456) (-0.569) (1.481) 32

33 Moderators: Study quality Moderatorkd95% confidence interval QbQb Low estimate High estimate Effort to randomize (0.236) No ** (0.485*) (0.022) (0.949) Yes ** (0.363**) (0.197) (0.530) *p<.05, ** p<.01 33

34 Moderators: Study quality Moderatorkd95% confidence interval QbQb Low estimate High estimate Differences at pre-test (2.640) Not assessed ** (0.332**) (0.118) (0.545) None, or controlled for ** (0.482**) (0.204) (0.759) Fidelity measured (1.437) No ** (0.468**) ( 0.187) (0.750) Yes **

35 Moderators: Study quality Moderatorkd95% confidence interval QbQb Low estimate High estimate Measure of generalization (0.594) No ** (0.380**) (0.219) (0.541) Yes Follow-up measure (0.001) No ** (0.389*) (0.218) (0.560) Yes (0.382) (-0.004) (0.768) *p<.05, ** p<.01

36 Revisiting previous syntheses Beerman (1994): –overall effect:.45 –Moderate effect: social skills –Small effect: cognition/affect, adjustment Vaughn et al (2003): –Small effects: individual studies –Moderate effects: social skills instruction –Large effects: autism, teacher-mediated/behavioral, generalization –Varied outcomes: HI, delay 36

37 Summary of findings Majority published studies from Even distribution across contexts with exception of rural Primarily in Head Start and preschool classrooms Majority of ethnicity unknown, 38% from primarily African-American groups At risk, EBD/abused, diverse groups best represented 37

38 Summary of findings Social competence interventions are effective –Diverse groups with special needs Hearing impairment/speech & language? –Embedding into existing curricula –Instruction and supported practice Overall consistency with previous syntheses Small, diverse studies despite preferred approach Underrepresentation of intervention types, disability categories, and contexts Social competence = overall teacher ratings 38

39 Summary of findings Little to no evidence base for environmental arrangement, combined interventions Instructional and behavioral approaches Study quality –Efforts to address internal validity –Some efforts to address group differences and treatment fidelity Failure to meaningfully assess generalization –follow-up?

40 Limitations in published research One definition fits all One intervention fits all Preschoolers as a hidden subset Sensitivity of measures Intervention types and impacts on competence variables Interaction of interventionist and intervention Where are caregiver and peer voices? 40

41 Other limitations Incomplete picture of the literature Failure to locate earlier studies Competence as unitary construct Oversimplification of categories 41

42 Preschool social competence -Observed social skills -Teacher and parent Perceptions -Peer perceptions and preferences -Social perspective taking Social adjustment - Achievement - Adult outcomes Inside-Out Outside-In Neurology & brain development Temperament, self-regulation, emotional competence Gender Cognitive and social-cognitive skills Disability Language-communication skills Family Classroom and teacher quality Early intervention Peer group and friendships Culture-ethnicity and linguistic factors Whitehurst, G.J., & Lonigan, C.J. (1997). Child development and emergent literacy. Child Development, 69, Influences on social competence 42

43 Developmentally appropriate practices Inclusive preschool education Social competence curricula Affective preschool interventions Incidental teaching of social behaviors Friendship activities Social integration activities Buddy skills training Classroomwide interventions Naturalistic peer interaction interventions Explicit social skills interventions From An intervention hierarchy for promoting young childrens peer interactions in natural environments by W.H. Brown, S.L. Odom, and M.A. Conroy, 2001, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 21, Hierarchy for promoting young childrens peer interactions 43

44 Future directions Synthesize SSD studies and compare interpretive methods Cross-cultural comparison of competence interventions and findings Translating findings into practice –Culturally-relevant interventions –Longitudinal effects 44

45 Stay in touch! Adam S. Kennedy, Ph.D. School of Education Loyola University Chicago 820 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL (312) (312) (Fax)


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