Entering into a school social environment is a significant and foundational experience for children. Elementary age students must successfully transition from well-established, comfortable social interactions with caregivers to explicit and implicit social rules and interactions in a school environment. Being able to successfully make this transition with teachers and classmates is often key to a successful school experience (Dereli 2009).
Early behavior problems in children put them at risk for escalating academic problems such as grade retention and school dropout. Not only is a student’s behavior significantly related to grades, it has also been found that inadequate social skills can increase vulnerability to depression as well as social anxiety. Further, one of the more crucial findings was the correlation between poor social skills, aggression and violent behavior. Studies show that 10% of early school age children entering the educational system each year display prevalence for aggressive behavior problems; for socio-economically disadvantaged children it may be as high as 25% (January and Casey, 2011).
Studies points to the fact that a valuable and cost effect means of interrupting the progression of behavior problems in children is to intervene with social skills education when they are young and most impressionable (Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004).While educators would like to focus on just academics, social-emotional growth seems to have...
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Second, few studies followed teaching staff and their fidelity to specific social skills programs. The use of triangulation in observing the classroom would be a strong improvement as a way to not only verify teacher fidelity to the program but to confirm reports of changed classroom behavior. The question is, to what extent is Cool Kids associated with higher teacher ratings of social competence and lower ratings of antisocial behavior for elementary age students? Multiple observers would be the best way to answer this question.
Dereli, E. (2009). Examining the permanence of the effect of a social skills training program for the acquisition of social problem-solving skills. Social Behavior and Personality, 37(10), 1419-1428.
Fister, S., Conrad, D., Kemp, K. (1998). Cool kids; A proactive approach to social responsibility. Longmont: Sopris West.
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