Thirty-two boys who were rejected by their peers in Grades 1-3 were identified on the basis of negative sociometric nominations and negative social behavior. They were randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions: (a) instructions to promote positive social behavior, (b) prohibitions to reduce negative social behavior, (c) a combination of instructions and prohibitions, or (d) no treatment. Interventions were applied during 10 half-hour school play sessions. Behavioral observations and peer and teacher ratings were collected prior to treatment, immediately after treatment, and at a follow-up assessment 6 weeks after treatment. Additional peer and teacher ratings were collected at a 1-year follow-up. Prohibitions combined with a response cost for negative behaviors resulted in immediate and stable declines in negative behavior and led to temporary increases in positive responses received from peers. Instructions and the reinforcement of specific social skills promoted sustained positive peer interactions 6 weeks after treatment. Only the combination of instructions and prohibitions led to improved sociometric ratings from nontarget treatment partners.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health