Social competence is a concept that has been defined and measured in many ways. Odom and McConnell (1985) proposed a performance-based assessment of social competence that involved significant social agents in children's environments to make judgments about the competence of the children's social behavior. This study constructed and initially evaluated such an approach for assessing social competence of young children with disabilities. A multimethod assessment of children's social competence (i.e., direct observation, observer impressions, teacher rating, peer ratings) was conducted with 222 preschool children with and without disabilities. Principal component analysis yielded four factors, the first of which accounted for the largest percentage of variance and may be the better global assessment of social competence. Results of this investigation are discussed conceptually with respect to the adequacy of multiple-measure performance-based approaches and empirically with regard to the possibility of using these measures to evaluate factors affecting the development of social competence in early childhood special education.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
2. Research reported in this article was supported by Grant No. G008730527 from the U.S. Department of Education to Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by Grant No. H024560010 from the U.S. Department of Education to the University of Minnesota and Grant No. H024K960001 from the U.S. Department of Education to the University of North Carolina. The opinions presented here are those of the authors only, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.