Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

November 1998


Published in Education and Treatment of Children Vol. 21, Nov. 1998, Issue 4, pp 489-513. Education and Treatment of Children is published quarterly by the West Virginia University Press in cooperation with California University of Pennsylvania. Used by permission.


Competent social interactions are clearly necessary for adjustment and successful functioning in society. The many developmental events and changing social expectations that occur during adolescence can make it particularly challenging for youth to establish and maintain competent social interactions. Research on social skills training with adolescents began in the mid-tolate 1970’s and it has improved much over the years. The research has gradually moved beyond a focus on basic skill assessment and acquisition in clinical settings toward techniques designed to assess and promote generalization and maintenance of an effective interpersonal repertoire in real world settings and situations. This article discusses major advances and issues in social skills research with adolescents, including efforts to facilitate treatment adherence, social validity, and generalization of interventions. Directions for further improvement of our social skills intervention technology are discussed.