Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




John F. Lavach


This experimental study examined the effects of different methods of training and verbal cognitive ability on second-grader's acquisition of social problem-solving skills and teacher-rated behavioral adjustment. Subjects were assigned by classroom to either classroom training only, classroom training with parent training, classroom training without parent training (those parents who were offered training but did not participate) or control. The 25-lesson Rochester Social Problem-Solving curriculum was taught three times per week for nine weeks by classroom teachers and a four session parent training component was taught by mental health prevention staff members and this researcher. Consistent with previous research, classroom instruction in Social Problem-Solving produced significantly greater increases in problem-solving skills for subjects in the classroom training, classroom training/parent training and classroom/no parent training groups than for subjects in the control group. In addition, all treatment groups improved on both behavioral adjustment variables while the control group scores decreased. Significant pre to post results were also seen on the problem variable for subjects in the classroom and classroom/parent training groups while similar gains were seen on the competency variable for subjects in the classroom training group. No correlation was discovered between social problem-solving skills and verbal cognitive ability, however a significant correlation was evident between the problem-solving and behavioral adjustment variables.;The significant cognitive problem-solving skills/behavioral adjustment relationship was believed due to the use of experienced teachers, the use of dialoguing by teachers and the age of the students.;The lack of consistent improvement of subjects cognitive and behavioral skills as the result of different training methods is thought to be due to the shortness of parental training, the need for increased behavioral practice and the brief time between the completion of training and posttreatment assessment.;Suggestions for further research in social problem-solving include an examination of subjects sociodemographic characteristics and the set of cognitive problem-solving skills as they relate to students adjustment, the generalization of cognitive and behavioral skills beyond training, the development of alternative and more psychometrically sound instruments to measure this construct, and improved methods for parent training. Finally, implications for education and counseling are explored.



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