Using a Naturalistic Sport Context to Train Social Skills in Children
Type of Degreedissertation
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Researchers have utilized the positive aspects of sports to deliver social skills training (SST) programs to children in a sport context. Youth participation in sports has been linked to positive benefits across many domains of physical, personal well-being, and psychosocial functioning. Using a multiple-baseline across behaviors design, we examined whether a SST program delivered in the context of a sports camp (i.e., soccer) would increase both social skills and athletic competencies in a short amount of time. We also evaluated the impact of the camp on the participant’s self-concept, interest in soccer, and self-perceptions of his social skills functioning. Results suggest that the intervention SST procedure effectively increased the use of the targeted social skills. Further, participants reported a greater interest in soccer and an improved overall sense of self-concept. Our results suggest that similar effects can be achieved in a relatively short, but intense, camp which utilizes both BST and sports-skills training components. Limitations and implications are discussed.