ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL-BEHAVIORAL COMPETENCE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM

ANTHONY PHILIP PANTALENO, Fordham University

Abstract

The objective of this research was to develop empirically and validate an assessment instrument that could identify problematic classroom situations in the senior high school setting, and measure differences between groups of students in terms of classroom social-behavioral competence. The Survey of Adolescent Classroom Competence (SACC) was developed, according to a three-step behavioral-analytic procedure, including situational analysis, response enumeration, and response evaluation.^ This 22-item scale presents a variety of classroom problematic situations, and asks adolescents to state exactly what they would say or do to handle each situation. A rater's manual was also developed, which outlined explicit scoring criteria for each situation. Competence was defined in terms of a five-step continuum of coping behavior ranging from very competent to very incompetent.^ In order to validate the instrument, five groups of 22 high school students each were employed: (1) nonhandicapped suburban students in regular classes; (2) nonhandicapped urban students in regular classes; (3) mainstreamed learning disabled students; (4) emotionally disturbed students in a BOCES day school program; and (5) severely emotionally disturbed students in a residential school program.^ The SACC was shown to possess good internal consistency. Exploratory principal components factor analysis did not produce an interpretable pattern of classroom competence factors. The total SACC score was related to age, but not to intelligence or socioeconomic status; highly significant group differences remained in total SACC score when age was treated as a covariate. The emotionally disturbed groups obtained significantly lower total SACC scores than the regular class groups.^ Discriminant function analysis revealed that the SACC could accurately classify subjects as emotionally disturbed or not emotionally disturbed 85% of the time. Base rates were employed to predict the proportion of valid-positive and false-positive ED classifications associated with each level of a weighted SACC Index score.^ This study demonstrated the utility of a behavioral-analytic approach to the assessment of classroom social competence. It also underscored the relationship between effective classroom-based social competence assessment and effective classroom-based social skills treatment programs. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

PANTALENO, ANTHONY PHILIP, "ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL-BEHAVIORAL COMPETENCE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624498.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624498

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