Social Competence and Relationships in Childhood and Adolescence
Social competence is concerned with how individuals function effectively and appropriately in social settings. Developmental theories and research findings have demonstrated that social competence in childhood and adolescence plays a significant role in shaping adjustment outcomes in various domains. The presentations in this symposium focus on conceptual and methodological issues in the study of children's social competence and relationships in diverse social and cultural contexts. These issues include conceptions of children's social competence across cultures, assessments of social competence in global contexts, parental beliefs and attitudes about children's characteristics related to social competence, the development of social and emotional skills, and culturally sensitive intervention programs to improve social competence. The presenters will incorporate into their discussions findings from research programs that have used multiple methodologies, such as interviews, large scale surveys, randomized trials, and longitudinal designs, and samples of children from early childhood to youth in countries from East to West and from South to North (e.g., Chile, Ethiopia, Italy, Lebanon, the United Kingdom).