Date of Award

1986

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Allan Berman

Abstract

In the present study, the relationship of linguistic achievement, social problem-solving and empathy to social competence as validated by teachers, peers and self was explored. It was hypothesized that these three developmental processes would be significant predictors of social competence, and that their relative orders of contribution would differ across competence indicators. The subjects in this study were 102 third grade students. After parental consents were obtained, five pencil and paper measures were administered to the students using a group testing format in two sessions. These measures examined language achievement, social problem-solving, empathy, a peer rating of other classmates and a self-rating. Teachers filled out a brief social competence rating for each student participant. The data were analyzed using stepwise multiple regression analyses. The results indicated that language achievement and social problem-solving were significant predictors of teacher ratings of social competence; that socioeconomic status was the only significant predictor of peer ratings, and that self ·ratings could not be predicted by any of the included variables. This study replicated previous findings of low correlations between teacher, peer and self-ratings, and found that specific items on the teacher rating could significantly predict positive peer ratings.

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