The Social Strategy Rating Scale: An Approach to Evaluating Social Competence

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Abstract

In recent years, professionals in early childhood special education have been concerned with the social competence of young children with disabilities. Despite widespread interest in this topic, the availability of psychometrically sound, easy-to-use instruments to measure social competence has been limited. This study provides initial data concerning the psychometric properties of the Social Strategy Rating Scale. This scale was developed in order to provide a relatively simple method of measuring social competence in young children with disabilities across multiple contexts. Forty-seven toddlers with disabilities were observed at four data points over a 16-month period in three different social settings (with mothers, in dyads, and in a group setting). The scale was found to have relatively high interobserver agreement across items and high internal consistency. In addition, the scale seemed to detect differences that occurred over time and in varying contexts. Findings are discussed in terms of their application in early childhood intervention programs.

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