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ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY UNIVERSITY dtpr.lib. PDF file ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE SOCIAL SKILLS GROUP COUNSELLING IN SCHOOLS

Apr 30, 2020

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  • ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY

    UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY

    UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

    SOCIAL SKILLS GROUP COUNSELLING IN SCHOOLS

    BY

    LUCY TOMIYAMA

    A Final Project submitted to the

    Campus Alberta Applied Psychology: Counselling Initiative

    in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    MASTER OF COUNSELLING

    Alberta

    November 2006

  • ABSTRACT

    Deficits in social skills and social competence play a significant role in the development and

    maintenance of behavioral problems of children in school. Children need a variety of

    experiences interacting with their peers in order to practice these skills. Group counselling is

    being recognized as a valuable approach in helping children increase their ability to perform

    social behaviors that are important for them to achieve success in school. This project

    reviews the literature about group counselling and its effectiveness for social skills training in

    schools. In addition, a facilitator’s manual for Social Skills Group Counselling is presented to

    provide school counsellors with a resource that they will be able to implement as part of their

    school counselling program.

    i

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    I would like to acknowledge Dr. Bryan Hiebert for supervising my final project. I

    would never have been able to complete this project without his patience and flexibility. I

    would like to thank my husband Larry, whose love and support kept me going when I

    thought I couldn’t do it anymore, and my children, Jess and Jordan, who had no choice but to

    hang in there and go with the flow. To Pam, thank you for your friendship and ongoing

    encouragement. To the staff at Cardinal Newman Elementary and Junior High, thank you for

    caring.

    ii

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ABSTRACT............................................................................................................................... i

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................................................................................ ii

    TABLE OF CONTENTS......................................................................................................... iii

    CHAPTER I .............................................................................................................................. 1

    Introduction................................................................................................................... 1

    Need For A Manual .......................................................................................... 3

    Structure of Project Document.......................................................................... 4

    CHAPTER II............................................................................................................................. 5

    Theoretical Foundations................................................................................................ 5

    Effectiveness of Group Interventions ............................................................... 5

    Criteria for Group Membership ........................................................................ 7

    Selecting Group Participants............................................................................. 8

    Risk Factors .................................................................................................... 10

    Duration and Frequency of Meetings ............................................................. 10

    Cultural Integration......................................................................................... 12

    Core Strategies and Techniques...................................................................... 13

    Group Leadership Style and Skills ................................................................. 13

    Evaluation ....................................................................................................... 14

    Conclusion ...................................................................................................... 14

    CHAPTER III ......................................................................................................................... 16

    Procedures................................................................................................................... 16

    Background..................................................................................................... 16

    iii

  • Conducting a Literature Review ..................................................................... 17

    Collaborating with School Staff...................................................................... 17

    CHAPTER IV ......................................................................................................................... 18

    Synthesis and Implications ......................................................................................... 18

    Impact of the Project....................................................................................... 18

    Limitations of the Project................................................................................ 19

    Conclusion ...................................................................................................... 20

    REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 21

    APPENDIX............................................................................................................................. 26

    Manual for Friendship Group: Social Skills Training for Elementary Grades........... 26

    HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL.................................................................... 30

    GROUP STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION.......................................... 31

    TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR SESSIONS ................................................... 34

    iv

  • CHAPTER I

    Introduction

    The prevalence of behavior problems is a growing concern in schools. In order to

    intervene effectively, it is important for schools to have an understanding of the factors

    influencing the development of children’s behavioral problems. The presence or absence of

    specific social skills provides the evidence that other individuals (e.g., parents, teachers, and

    peers) use to make judgments about a student’s social competence. A student’s ability to

    manage his or her relationship with peers and teachers successfully is associated with many

    positive outcomes, such as acceptance by teachers, academic achievement, acceptance by

    peers, positive peer relationships, and friendships (Lane et al., 2005). It is important to help

    students build their social competence in an effort to promote school success. Social skills

    are behaviors that need to be taught, acquired, and then practiced. It would be beneficial for

    teachers and school counsellors to have access to a manual outlining the implementation of a

    social skills group, with systematic procedures for enhancing social competence.

    Social competence has been defined in various ways. Spence and Donovan (1999)

    define social competence as the ability to obtain successful outcomes from interactions with

    others. Social competence reflects the child’s capacity to integrate behavioral, cognitive and

    affective skills in order to adapt flexibly to diverse social contexts and demands. Good social

    skills enable children to interact with peers, form friendships, and develop socially acceptable

    responses and behavior. Gresham (1997) defines social skills as specific behaviors (e.g.,

    raising one’s hand and waiting to be called upon, inviting another student to join a group, and

    so on) that a student demonstrates in order to perform appropriately on a given social task.

    Gresham and Elliott (1993) add, “Social skills are socially acceptable behaviors that enable a

  • person to interact effectively with others and avoid socially unacceptable behaviors from

    others” (p. 139). The authors propose that social skills involve cooperation, assertion,

    responsibility, empathy, and self-control.

    Children are continually required to handle a wide range of challenging social

    situations. Social skills represent the ability to perform behaviors that are important in

    enabling a person to achieve social competence. Spence (2003) postulates that social skills in

    interpersonal relationships have a significant long-term influence upon psychological,

    academic, and adaptive functioning. A meta-analysis of 43 studies (Erwin, 1994) of social

    skills training effectiveness showed that social skills training produced significant

    improvement in children’s level of social interaction and overall well-being. An underlying

    premise of social skills training is that children with low peer acceptance do not have the

    social skills required to develop and maintain positive peer relationships (Choi & Kim,

    2003). Peer acceptance can affect academic achievement, adjustment in school, and

    psychological well being in adulthood. Gumpel and Golan (2000) postulate that a child’s

    ability to inte