This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Using a Naturalistic Sport Context to Train Social Skills in Children




Ferguson, Bill

Type of Degree





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.