Effects of a leisure education program on generalization of social skills of children with social skills deficits
Cory, Alison Lynne
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A single subject multiple probe across participants design was used to examine effects of a leisure education intervention package on generalization of social knowledge and skills demonstrated by 3 participants with social skills deficits (age 4) during (a) play with 1 peer and (b) natural setting classroom play with 1 or more peers. The leisure education intervention package featured 2 components (a) Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and (b) Instructor-Facilitated Role Play (I-FRP) (between researcher and participants). Social knowledge was assessed using a computerized version of the “Social Knowledge Assessment” (SKA) and social skills’ generalization was assessed using videotaped observations of targeted social behaviors recorded on the Social Skills Assessment (SSA) during participants’ play with 1 peer and during natural setting classroom play with 1 or more peers. Social knowledge and skills data were collected during baseline probe; intervention began once knowledge and skills’ scores stabilized. After participants achieved knowledge criterion during CAI phase of intervention, I-FRP phase of intervention began. I-FRP provided participants with feedback related to targeted social skills during instructional role play with the researcher. I-FRP sessions were based on interactions depicted in CAI and continued until participants reached skills criteria of demonstrating targeted social skills in both settings on 3 or more occasions at a frequency of least 50% higher than baseline probe using the SSA observation form. Results indicated that across participants, following initiation of the CAI phase of intervention, replication of effects occurred for social knowledge indicating intervention efficacy related to that dependent measure; however, for social skills, across participants, replication of effects did not occur. Although median scores for social skills increased following implementation of CAI and I-FRP phases of intervention, data were variable for all 3 participants and visual analysis of the graphed data did not support intervention efficacy. Additionally, there was no observable trend indicating change in frequency related to greetings or inappropriate behaviors (e.g., excessive volume, verbal aggression). Participants, parents, and staff members indicated the study was socially valid through assessments and interviews related to social validity of goals, social appropriateness of procedures, and social importance of effects.