Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Number of Pages



The effective demonstration of social skills in classroom and personal settings is essential to successfully develop and sustain professional and personal relationships. Students with disabilities often exhibit social skills deficits which, in turn, place them at risk to experience school failure, peer rejection, and/or mental health problems (Elksnin & Elksnin, 2006). There is an increasing number of students with disabilities receiving instruction in the general education classroom setting (U.S. Department of Education, 2003). Direct instruction of social skills is imperative to ensure the academic and personal success of students; The research supports the direct instruction of discrete social skills behaviors to prevent or remediate a lack of social competence (Tolan & Guera, 1994). However, teachers often lack the instructional skills necessary to provide direct social skill instruction. Most teacher training programs focus on the management of behavior. The level, type, and area of social skills instruction provided in pre-service and in-service settings were explored in this study, by distributing an online questionnaire to licensed general and special education teachers. This study also compared the level of instruction received by special education teachers who provide instruction in self-contained settings, and those who teach in resource room settings. A similar comparison was also made between general education teachers and special education teachers who teach in resource rooms; The results of this study indicate that general and special education teachers receive a limited amount of direct and incidental social skills instruction in their pre-service and/or in-service training programs. The general and special education teachers reported receiving more instruction in particular various areas of social skills within their in-service training. Special education teachers who teach in self-contained settings do not receive more social skills instruction than resource room teachers in pre-service or in-service training programs. However, special education teachers who teach in resource rooms do receive more social skills instruction than general education teachers, but only in their pre-service training programs.


Analysis; Behavior Management; Education; Educators; General; General Educators; Inservice; Instruction; Programs; Provided; Service; Social Skills; Social Skills; Special Educators; Training; Teacher Education

Controlled Subject

Special education; Education, Higher; Teachers--Training of

File Format


File Size

3819.52 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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