Peermediated interventions have been widely employed with seriously impairedautistic and handicapped children to modify social withdrawal. This study extendsthe literature by examining the impact of a peer intervention on the interactions ofdevelopmentally normal, socially isolated girls. Two to three actual classroompeers were trained to serve as helpers to initiate and maintain interactions with thesubjects. The intervention was introduced sequentially across 2 girls in a multiple-baseline design, and a within subject ABA withdrawal design was used to assessmaintenance. Behavioral observations during recess periods indicated that bothchildren‘s positive social interactions with peer helpers and other classmates wereincreased significantly during intervention and were maintained in return to-baseline conditions and at 4-month follow-up. Increases in positive socialinteractions of both subjects generalized to a second recess setting, in whichintervention was not introduced. Subjects’ interactions in both recess settingsreached levels comparable to those of social comparison groups of peers. Teacherand self report ratings suggested that both girls had fewer social problems andexperienced less loneliness and dysphoria as a result of the intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)