Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

April 1993


Published in Behavior Modification, Vol. 17 No. 2 (April 1993), pp. 113–135. Copyright © 1993 Sage Publications, Inc. Used by permission.


Researchers have begun to employ social-skills training in efforts to change the sexual behavior of adolescents. However, despite the promise of social-skills training, little is known about how social skills are related to the sexual practices of adolescents. The present article reviews the current literature and proposes a conceptual framework for understanding the relations between social skills and sexual behavior of adolescents by (a)examining the relationship between sexual activity and social skills, (b) examining the development of sexual-interaction skills and deficits, (c) summarizing what is currently known about the relations between social skills and sexual behavior, (d) discussing current issues in the assessment and treatment of sexual-interaction skills deficits, and (e) proposing some directions for needed research that will add both to our current knowledge base and to the effectiveness of applied intervention efforts.