A Study of the Contexts in Which Problem Behaviors Occur and the Relationship with Social Skills

Open Access
Wood, Jean Marie
Graduate Program:
School Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
November 17, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Barbara Schaefer, Dissertation Advisor
  • Barbara Schaefer, Committee Chair
  • Beverly Vandiver, Committee Chair
  • Brian A Rabian, Committee Member
  • Pamela S Wolfe, Committee Member
  • Problem Behaviors
  • Social Skills
  • Situtypes
The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between the context in which problem behaviors occur and social skills using the Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents (ASCA) phenotype scoring method (McDermott, 1994), the ASCA situtype scoring method (McDermott, Steinberg, & Angelo, 2005), and the Social Skills Rating System- Teacher Edition (SSRS-T; Gresham & Elliott, 1990). The relationship between the context of problem behaviors and social skills was hypothesized to better fit the data than the relationship between problem behaviors and social skills. Participants included 185 students from a rural school in Central Pennsylvania who were rated by 19 teachers. Due to limitations with sample size and constriction of range, the structural equation modeling models were not viable and canonical correlation analyses (CCA) were conducted to test the hypotheses. Results of the CCA found that problem behaviors and social skills were associated with specific academic settings. Students with behavior problems in academic or peer settings were more likely to have problems with cooperation and self-control; while students who exhibited behavior problems in teacher settings were more likely to have problems with assertiveness. In summary, findings from this study need to be viewed with caution given the homogeneous composition of the sample and the sample size of teachers and students, which resulted in a constricted range of scores and suspect findings about the measurement models.