Is it important to promote social skills and prosocial development in children?

A childs social competence is a critical developmental achievement for later social success (Sroufe & Rutter, 1984). Social competence has also been strongly associated with successful school performance, transition into school and work settings, better job opportunities and corresponding adult support, and improved overall interactions with others (Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta, Cox, 2000). Without intervention, children who demonstrate poor social skills may continue to experience problems into middle childhood and beyond.


Children with good social skills Children with poor social skills
  • Better accepted by their peers
  • Better coping & attention skills
  • Better school & social adjustment
  • Higher risk of developing patterns of aggressive behavior
  • Experience higher rates of emotional & behavioral problems


Developmental delays, however, affect the ways children demonstrate and develop social skills.

Consider the features of Mental Retardation:

Consider features of Pervasive Developmental Disorders: