The development of a standardized measure of social competence in middle childhood: beginning to bridge the gap between empirical knowledge and clinical practice




Saltzman, Jennifer Lesley

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Our understanding of children's social competence has increased tremendously over the past two decades. There is increasing evidence to suggest that social and emotional impairments are not restricted to children with autism, but rather may be associated a host of neurological conditions including acquired brain injury, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and stroke. Although many investigators have begun to bridge the gap between clinical practice and research by applying experimental tasks to clinical populations, very few tools are available for the everyday clinical evaluation of social competence. This study aimed to take the first steps in the development of measures that would be suitable for the assessment of children between the ages of 6- and 12-years of age. The results of the study provide cross-sectional normative data for a number of tasks that have been developed and modified with clinical practice in mind. A discussion of the developmental progressions and the relationships among different aspects of social competence is also included.



Social skills in children, Testing, Child psychology