Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Charles O. Matthews


This study addressed three questions: (1) Are social planning processes, i.e., means-ends thinking, knowledge of social conventions, and social schematic ability, related to each other? (2) Are they related to the perceived social competence of learning disabled (SLD) adolescents? (3) Are they determinants of differences in perceived social competence?;Martin Ford's (1982) Social Competence Nomination Form (SCNF) assessed the social competence of 59 SLD adolescents from The New Community School in Richmond, Virginia. Extreme groups of SCNF scorers were compared on three social planning skill measures: Means-Ends Problem-Solving Procedure (MEPS) (Spivack, Shure & Platt, 1981) and the Comprehension and Picture Arrangement subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Tests (Wechsler, 1974, 1981). The sample was described with the UCLA system of marker variables (Keogh, Major-Kingsley, Omori-Gordon, & Reid, 1982).;The hypothesized relationships were neither proved nor refuted, because although intercorrelations among the three sets of social planning process scores were significant, the correlations between the social competence scores and social planning process scores were not. However, the significant intercorrelations and the analyses of high and low scores added to the validity of Ford's (1986) social competence theory. The study also added to the SLD data base, confirmed the variance in the Kaufman's (1979) social judgment construct, and added to reliability data.;Needing further investigation are the MEPS's cognitive and linguistic features, its scoring, and the effects of the interview process. The SCNF'S cognitive demands, item situational specificity, and bases for perceptions of social competence need closer examination. In addition, studies need to be done with both normal learning and SLD adolescents. Samples should be small, but larger than this one. Also, subjects should have had the opportunity to participate together in multiple school social settings. The results then should be validated by examining behavior in natural situations to see if perceptions of social competence are confirmed by social leadership in real-life situations.



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