Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology


Educational Research Cognition and Development

First Committee Member

Paul Jones, Chair

Second Committee Member

Shannon Smith

Third Committee Member

Pamela Staples

Graduate Faculty Representative

Colleen Peterson

Number of Pages



Society is dealing with a trend of aggressive and destructive behavior among children and adolescence. Children with social, emotional, and conduct problems are at high risk for academic failure, peer rejection, conduct disorder, school dropout, delinquency, and drug and alcohol problems (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Stoollmiller, 2008). A high priority for the United States public health and crime prevention is the prevention of aggressive and delinquent behavior during childhood and adolescence (Taylor, Eddy, & Biglan 1999).

Social skills trainings aim to increase the performance of key social behaviors that are important for children to succeed in social situations. Solutions may be provided with social skills trainings for the increasing trend of aggressive and destructive behavior among children and adolescence. Various studies of social skills trainings have shown effectiveness in improving children's levels of social interaction and cognitive problem- solving (Erwin, 1994), declining aggression and bullying behavior, (DeRosier, 2004), and reducing disruptive, off-task behaviors in children with ADHD (DuPaul & Weyandt, 2006).

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular social skills treatment protocol. The study also explores issues related to conducting research in real-life settings. Additionally, the challenges in using various rating scales to evaluate the program's effectiveness are explored.

Four measures were used in the analysis of the study. The findings indicate that one of the four measures, the Program Evaluation Form (PEF) showed statistical significance for seven of the eight program modules evaluated. The other three measures, the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version (EQ-SF), the Child Feeling Scale (CFS), and the Presenting Problem Rating Scale (PPRS), all indicated little or no significant change.

Conducting research in a real-life setting had various challenges. The small sample size proved to be problematic. Consistent data collection from parents was difficult to manage, as well as managing data collection from the children within the context of the group. Additionally, it was questionable whether the Rapid Assessment Instruments (RAI) used were effective in the evaluation of the program.


Aggression; Aggressiveness; Behavior disorders in adolescence; Behavior disorders in children; Education; Problem behaviors; Problem children; Psychology; Social skills – Study and teaching


Child Psychology | Counseling Psychology | Developmental Psychology | School Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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