A comparative analysis of the effects of social skill training and teacher-directed contingencies on social behavior of preschool children with disabilities

Research paper by Timothy J. Lewis

Indexed on: 01 Sep '94Published on: 01 Sep '94Published in: Journal of behavioral education


This study investigated the effects of an analog social skill training program and a teacher-directed contingency strategy on promoting social responding among four preschool children with mild disabilities and their peers. The social skill training program consisted of five lessons targeting the skill areas: Initiating, responding, and maintaining social interactions. The teacher directed contingency consisted of prompting target children when they were not socially involved with peers, and providing verbal praise when they were socially involved with peers. Subjects were divided into two training pairs and received both interventions in a reversal design. Presentation order was counterbalanced across the two training pairs. Results indicated that the teacher directed contingency was more effective in promoting higher levels of social responding in a free-play setting. Results also suggest that social skill training may not always be a necessary prerequisite to promote increased social interactions among children who display low rates of social interaction with peers, but possess necessary skills.