Social or Relationship SkillsRSS

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Social or relationship skills, also called social competence, encompass the ability of children and youth to relate to, have compassion for, and connect with others. 

 

These skills are encompassed under three of the five areas of social and emotional learning described by the Collaboration for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), under two of the four domains of personal and social assets that the National Research Council (NRC) describes as protective factors, and within the 6 C’s that thriving youth develop (competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, compassion, and contribution).  Whatever way they are described, they are part of social, emotional, and behavioral development that youth must accomplish to have healthy connections and relationships with their families, peers, and other adults.  These developmental changes can be difficult for youth to manage and take some experience to master.

 

The NRC identifies social and relationship skills such as good conflict resolution skills, prosocial and culturally sensitive values, connectedness (good relationships with parents, peers, and some other adults, and ability to navigate multiple cultural contexts as protective factors that facilitate well-being of youth in the present and help in successful transition to the future.  Their asset development approach indicates that more assets are better, assets tend to work in combination with each other with stronger assets making up for weaker ones, and that having assets across the four assets areas (physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional, and social development) better facilitates positive youth development serving as protective factors against engaging in risky behaviors.

 

Strategies and programs, and therefore assessments, may focus on reducing or preventing problematic behaviors or on helping children and youth develop the skills and assets to better manage how they relate to others.  It is important to consider the focus of your program when selecting an assessment tool.  It is also important to consider how assets might work together thus measuring more than one indicator may be important to demonstrating the improvements children and youth have made in your program.

 

Indicators of social or relationship skills include conflict resolutions skills, cooperation skills, negotiation skills, interpersonal skills, empathy, social conscience/altruism, respect for differences, leadership skills, decision-making skills, social problem solving skills, goal-setting, teamwork, and peer refusal skills. (By Urban Institute)

The Partner Communication Scale (PCS) is composed of five items that assess frequency of communicating with a sex partner. It was originally pilot-tested with a small sample of African American females ages 14 to 18, but may be used with males, individual ...

The Resistance to Peer Influence measure presents respondents with a series of 10 pairs of statements and asks them to choose the statement that is the best descriptor (sample item: "Some people go along with friends just to keep their friends happy" BUT ...

  The Adapted Self-Report Altruism Scale measures the extent to which someone engages in behaviors that help others. It can be administered as a pre-test/post-test to determine if behaviors have changed.

This scale measures the level of tolerance that children/youth have for differences described as "a measure of comfort and acceptance of ethic and cultural diversity in people who are different than oneself” http://forumfyi.org/files/Connecticut%20Assessi ...

These items measure an individual’s ability to listen, care, and trust others. Youths are asked to indicate how often they would make several statements.

IndicatorsEmpathy

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes nine items that measure social competence in teenagers. Social Competence in adolescence is defined as a set of positive social ...

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes four items that measure altruism in teenagers. Altruism is defined as showing unselfish concern, in thought and action, for the ...

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes four items that measure empathy in teenagers. Empathy involves having the emotional and cognitive ability to feel and understand ...

IndicatorsEmpathy

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes three items that measure forgiveness in teenagers. Forgiveness is defined as overcoming negative feelings in response to the per ...

IndicatorsForgiveness

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourising Children Project. It includes seven items that measure goal orientation in teenagers. Goal orientation is defined as an adolescent’s motivation and ability to ...

IndicatorsGoal-setting

These items measure teachers’ perceptions of their students’ prosocial skills. It includes ratings of both adaptive behaviors and interpersonal social competence. Teachers (or other instructors) can use the scale to assess how frequently students engage ...

The Belonging Scale is designed to assess youths' sense of belonging.  The scale is a modification of the original scale developed by Gambone & Arbreton (1997).

This scale measures the level of tolerance that children/youth have for differences described as "a measure of comfort and acceptance of ethic and cultural diversity in people who are different than oneself” http://forumfyi.org/files/Connecticut%20Assessi ...

This scale measures the level of tolerance that children/youth have for differences described as "a measure of comfort and acceptance of ethic and cultural diversity in people who are different than oneself” http://forumfyi.org/files/Connecticut%20Assessi ...

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes four items designed for parents to rate their teenagers' altruism. Altruism is defined as showing unselfish concern, in thought ...

Measures the behavior of helping others.

Measures the behavior of helping others.

This tool “represents the respondent’s opinions about the importance and desirability of relationships between people who do not share the same cultural and/or ethnic background” (p. 14, http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/national_evaluation_youthcorps_te ...

This is a self-report for children in grades 3-8.  It is designed to be administered over time to observe progress in the extent to which children demonstrate skills in perspective-taking ,communication, group membership, and conflict resolution.For examp ...