Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

W. Grant Willis


A meta-analysis was conducted that examined the effects of both incorporating parents as treatment agents and involving a varying number of treatment agents in social-skills programs with 2,693 children displaying disruptive behavior. Children participated in social-skills training that included different combinations of treatment agents including clinicians, teachers, parents, and peers. Results indicated that programs incorporating a parent component and those not including parents as treatment agents both increased participants' social competence post-treatment. No evidence was found, however, that incorporating a parent component in programs increased treatment benefits. Social-skills training incorporating various combinations of one, two, three, and four treatment agents were all effective in improving participants' social competence, but there was no evidence that increasing the number of treatment agents had any effect on treatment outcome. Various follow-up analyses were conducted. No relationship was found between duration for which children participated in the social-skills program and treatment efficacy. Additionally, results showed that participant characteristics such as age, gender and ethnicity were not predictive of post-treatment social competence levels. Also, analogue, observation, and sociometric outcome measures revealed increases in participants' social competence after social-skills training whereas rating scales did not show increases in individuals' social competence after treatment. Overall, participants, teachers, clinicians, and peers all indicated increases in social competence post-treatment. In contrast, parents did not perceive reliable increases in their children's social competence after social-skills training. Strengths and limitations of the current study and directions for future research are addressed.



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