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Intervening with Children Experiencing Serious Peer Difficulties: The Friendship Connections Program (FCP)

IES R305A150488
Administered in: College of the Liberal Arts

Abstract:

Ten to 15% of children experience serious and chronic peer difficulties in elementary school, including rejection, social exclusion, friendlessness, and victimization.  This study will determine whether an intensive, individualized social skills training program can remediate the social skill deficits of children who are rejected by their peers, improving their peer relations, reducing distress, and thereby enhancing student learning engagement.  The team will work with students in grades 1-4 in four school districts serving economically disadvantaged urban and rural communities in Pennsylvania.  The Friendship Connections intervention includes “Friendship Group” social skills training and cooperative peer activities, parent-teacher conferencing, and progress monitoring to track improvements and individualize intervention.  Targeted skills include prosocial engagement, communication, emotion regulation, self-control, social problem-solving skills, and managing stress and coping. The study will evaluate the benefits associated with the Friendship Connections Program relative to usual practice.

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