This study examined the efficacy of a social skills training program on the use of validating comments and negative comments by children with specific language impairment. The present study is an extension of a previous research project. Four children (three female, one male) with specific language impairment, ages 6 to 11, participated in a ten week social skills training program which involved direct instruction of target concepts, peer interactions with classmates, and evaluation of the use of target skills by reviewing videotaped peer interactions. The individual performance of each subject was compared to the age- and gender-matched typical peers with whom they interacted during the weekly game sessions of the intervention program. The intervention program was successful in improving the use of validating comments for three of the four subjects (AA, CS, and JH). The subjects' increased use of validating comments, however, did not appear to significantly affect or change the participants' use of negative comments. It was also found that, while individual performance improved, three of the four participants (AA, MD, and CS) consistently produced fewer validating comments than did their typical peers during the weekly game sessions. Follow-up data for the participants indicated that the three participants (AA, CS, and JH) who showed improvement in their use of validating comments over the course of treatment appeared to maintain their increased skill after the treatment ended. Possible explanations for these results are discussed, and recommendations are made for future social skills training programs.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





Specific language impairment, Pragmatic language impairment, Social skills, Validating comments, Peer interactions, Intervention, Prosocial behaviors, Negative comments