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)

This tool measures empathetic attitudes, not actions.

IndicatorsEmpathy

This is a self-report for children in grades 3-8, but there is also a teacher observation scale for grades kindergarten-5.  These scales are subsets of a larger civic responsibility measurement scale. It is designed to be administered over time to observ ...

IndicatorsEmpathy

This is an observation tool for teachers. This version is calibrated for second and third grade.  This scale is a subset of a larger civic responsibility measurement scale. It is designed to be administered over time to observe progress in the extent to ...

IndicatorsEmpathy

This is an observation tool for teachers. This version  is calibrated for fourth and fifth grade.  This scale is a subset of a larger civic responsibility measurement scale. It is designed to be administered over time to observe progress in the extent to ...

IndicatorsEmpathy

This is an observation tool for teachers. This version is calibrated for kindergarten and first grade.  This scale is a subset of a larger civic responsibility measurement scale. It is designed to be administered over time to observe progress in the exte ...

IndicatorsEmpathy

This tool represents respondent’s ability to “critically analyze political messages” (p. 4).This tool was tested on 1,924 youth in grades 7 through 12, but most of the participating youth were in grades 11 and 12.  The participating youth were ages 12-18 ...

The survey is based on Lerner’s 5 Cs.  It measures the extent to which youth use critical thinking skills in their decision-making. 

The Drug Refusal Assertiveness Scale is one dimension of assertive behavior derived from a factor analysis of the Gambrill-Richey Assertion Inventory.  Items from that inventory were adapted to be applicable to an adolescent population, and other dimensio ...

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' empathy. Empathy involves having the emotional and cognitive ability to ...

IndicatorsEmpathy

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes three items designed for parents to rate their teenagers' forgiveness. Forgiveness is defined as overcoming negative feelings in ...

IndicatorsForgiveness

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes eight items designed for parents to rate their teenagers' goal orientation. Goal orientation is defined as an adolescent’s motiv ...

IndicatorsGoal-setting

This tool provides a way to assess adolescents’ interest in politics by assessing their political communications with others (p. 22).This tool was tested on 1,924 youth in grades 7 through 12, but most of the participating youth were in grades 11 and 12.  ...

This is a self-report for children in grades 4 and 5.  The scale provides students’ assessments of their own social skills.

This tool was developed by Child Trends for the Templeton Foundation, as part of the Flourishing Children Project. It includes six items designed for parents to rate their teenagers' social competence. Social Competence in adolescence is defined as a set ...

IndicatorsSelf-confidence