In recent years, social-skills training has become an increasingly common intervention. Recipients of skill training programs have included children of all ages as well as adults, yet relatively few systematic attempts have been made to incorporate developmental considerations into program design and evaluation. Developmental research indicates that significant normative changes take place during the preschool, grade school, and adolescent years in domains such as the complexity of children's social reasoning, the focus and duration of their peer interactions, the nature of peer-approved (and disapproved) behaviors, the organization of the peer group, and the extent and nature of peer influence. Although a full understanding of the impact that these developmental changes may have on the effectiveness of various social-skills interventions awaits future research, the potential implications are numerous. In this article, developmental changes in children's peer relationships are reviewed. The implications that these changes may have for the assessment of social skills, for the design of skill training programs, and for future research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)