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Social Skills and Behavior Intervention
Culturally Diverse Students
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
ERIC EC Minibib EB24
Updated April 2003
Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in
microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations worldwide; to find the ERIC
Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm. Documents can also be
ordered for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS):
http://edrs.com/, email@example.com, or 1-800-443-ERIC.
Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a
fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library),
through interlibrary loan services, or from article reproduction services such as:
Infotrieve: 800.422.4633, www4.infotrieve.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; or ingenta: 800.296.2221, www.ingenta.com, email@example.com.
Campbell-Whatley, F.D., Gardner, R., III. (2002). Strategies and Procedures for Designing Proactive Interventions with a Culturally Diverse Population of Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders and Their Families/Caregivers. Fourth CCBD Mini-Library Series: Addressing the Diverse Needs of Children and Youth with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders--Programs That Work. Council for Exceptional Children, 888-232-7733, http://www.cec.sped.org. 35p.
This monograph examines the special problems of students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) who are from culturally diverse backgrounds and offers strategies for designing appropriate interventions. In the introductory chapter, the student demographics in the E/BD category of special education are reviewed and efforts of one state, Alabama, to correct the problem of disproportionate representation, is discussed. The next chapter identifies the three essential components of school success related to students with E/BD and their families: appropriate student behavior, effective academic instruction, and a responsive school environment. Academic and behavioral classroom strategies that exemplify best practices for culturally and linguistically diverse children with E/BD are then considered. The last chapter explores tactics to increase the participation of families in the education of their children. It stresses understanding parental involvement and the barriers affecting urban parental involvement and offers recommendations for increasing the involvement of urban parents.
Cartledge, G., Loe, S.A. (2001). Cultural Diversity and Social Skill Instruction. Exceptionality, 9(1), 33-46.
This article identifies ways in which cultural discontinuities naturally occur in the schools for students from culturally diverse backgrounds and ways in which school personnel can bring about more satisfactory adjustments by directly teaching requisite skills. Recommendations include creating positive affirming environments and teaching culturally relevant social behaviors.
Cartledge, G. (1996). Cultural Diversity and Social Skills Instruction: Understanding Ethnic and Gender Differences. Research Press, 2612 North Mattis Avenue, Champaign, IL 61821. 392p.
This book discusses issues surrounding cultural differences and social learning of students in the United States, to assist in the teaching of social skills from a perspective of cultural diversity. Chapters emphasize the relationship between culture and social behavior and highlight the importance of ethnic identity relative to psychological adjustment and adaptive behavior; outline generic, empirically validated methods for social skill instruction; discuss African Americans and the impact of poverty and social perceptions of the poor; highlight the ongoing debate concerning the nature and origin of gender differences; and discuss some teaching implications.
Damico, J. S., Damico, S. K. (1993). Language and Social Skills from a Diversity Perspective: Considerations for the Speech- Language Pathologist. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 24(4), 236-43.
This article points out that the acculturation of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds is achieved primarily through language socialization. It examines the types of variation that must be addressed in working with students from diverse backgrounds, such as language code differences, conversational discontinuities, and maintenance of face.
Doughty, J. E. (1997). The Effect of a Social Skills Curriculum on Student Performance. 52p. ED412260. Paper presented at the Annual Research Colloquium (3rd, Carrollton, GA, June 1997).
The purpose of this research study was to determine if the implementation of a social skills curriculum would have a positive effect on the performance of severely emotionally or behaviorally disordered students (SEBD). The program studied was the Boys Town Educational Model (BTEM). Student performance was defined in terms of reading recognition and comprehension, mathematics, and spelling. Student behavior was defined in terms of suspensions, restraints, and time-outs/seclusions. Subjects were 21 students aged 11 to 19 (16 black males, 4 white males, and 1 black female) classified as SEBD from the Atlanta (Georgia) area. Implementation of the BTEM had a significant effect in decreasing the total number of restraints of the subjects. Its use appeared effective in improving the academic scores of students classified as SEBD while decreasing the number of time-outs/seclusions. Results support further study of the BTEM as a way to improve student performance through a structured classroom management approach.
Ferguson, S. A. (1993). Facilitating Multicultural Competence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2(4), 28-30.
The challenge of including multiculturalism in provision of youth and family services is addressed, including a definition of goals and a discussion of common manifestations of racism and other cultural discrimination in group homes, schools, and treatment centers. Tips for self-examination of cultural attitudes and prejudices are provided, and alienating effects on both dominant and subordinant cultural groups are described.
Frauenglass, S. R., and others (1997). Family Support Decreases Influence of Deviant Peers on Hispanic Adolescents' Substance Use. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26(1), 15-23.
A study of 236 eighth-grade students investigated the interplay of family support and peer modeling on adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use and gang involvement. Results showed that family social support reduced the influence of deviant peers on some of the problem behaviors, specifically tobacco and marijuana use.
Glomb, N. (1996). Do Social Skills Programs Accommodate Cultural Diversity? A Review of Secondary Curricula. 19p. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED395419.
This review examined the extent to which commercially available social skills curricula designed for adolescent populations (including those with learning and behavior problems) accommodate cultural diversity. Introductory material discusses the need for culturally responsive teaching in social skills training. The study reviewed 11 curricula, and tables present a summary of each program and a comparison of the programs relative to 23 evaluative questions concerning culturally responsive teaching. The paper concludes that most commercially available social skills curricula for use with this population do not include many of the procedures considered to be important components of culturally responsive teaching.
Hammond, W. R., and others (1990). Positive Adolescents Choices Training (PACT): Preliminary Findings of the Effects of a School-Based Violence Prevention Program for African American Adolescents. 15p. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED326812. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).
The Positive Adolescents Choices Training (PACT) program is a culturally sensitive social skills training program developed specifically for African American youth to reduce their disproportionate risk for becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. The cognitive-behavioral group training approach equips students with specific social skills to use in situations of interpersonal conflict. The PACT program has been implemented with students between 12 and 15 years of age in cooperation with an urban school system. Students who completed the training were rated by both teachers and trainers as showing improvement in the target skill areas as measured by pre-to-post observation of behavior. Also, participants completing the program demonstrated reduced negative behavior such as suspensions or expulsions related to violent behavior in comparison to a closely matched group of untrained students.
Johnson, D. L. and Walker, T. (1991). A Follow-Up Evaluation of the Houston Parent-Child Development Center: School Performance. Journal of Early Intervention, 15(3), 226-36.
This follow-up study examined effects (in grades 2 through 5) of a 2-year parent-child education program for low-income Mexican-American families of children ages 1-3. There were no program effects on school grades, retention, or referrals, but program children achieved significantly higher on tests of reading, language, and vocabulary and exhibited less hostile classroom behavior.
McNamara, B. E. (1998). Learning Disabilities: Appropriate Practices for a Diverse Population. State University of New York Press, State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246. 254p.
This book addresses the overrepresentation of students from minority backgrounds in special education by examining the referral process, providing alternatives to traditional assessment procedures, and presenting a variety of instructional approaches that recognize the cultural and linguistic diversity found in students classified as having learning disabilities. It also examines issues in teacher preparation and parental roles in the education of children with learning disabilities.
Obiakor, F. E. (1992). Self-Concept of African-American Students: An Operational Model for Special Education. Exceptional Children, 59(2), 160-67.
An operational model of self-concept of African-American students is presented. The model defines self-descriptive behavior and permits identification of styles, strengths, and weaknesses. The paper explores methods for enhancing self-concepts of African-American students and accommodating multicultural perspectives.
Rivera, B. D. and Rogers-Atkinson, D. (1997). Culturally Sensitive Interventions: Social Skills Training with Children and Parents from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds. Intervention in School and Clinic, 33(2), 75-80.
This article examines the effects of cultural influences on social behaviors of children from diverse backgrounds and suggests practical applications for developing and implementing social skills training programs for these children and their parents. It defines "social skills" and provides charts of behavioral characteristics for students with Hispanic, African, Asian, and Native American backgrounds.
Scherer, D. G. and Others. (1994). Multisystemic Family Preservation Therapy: Preliminary Findings from a Study of Rural and Minority Serious Adolescent Offenders. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 2(4), 198-206.
The Diffusion of Multisystemic Family Preservation (MFP) Services Project worked successfully with rural African-American and White families who have chronic or violent adolescent offenders at imminent risk for incarceration. The MFP approach is an intensive time-limited intervention predicated on family systems and socioecological conceptualizations of the contextual nature of behavioral problems and behavioral change.
Strodl, P. (1993). The Development of Social Communications Curricula: A Proposal and a Resource Compendium. 14p. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED355295. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (16th, Clearwater Beach, FL, February 17-21, 1993).
The difficulties of social complexity in discipline in large urban schools and other multiethnic schools may be treated as a resource for curriculum. This paper describes social communications curricula, strategies for their development, their usefulness particularly in large multiethnic urban schools, and a list of resources. The three parts contain: the rationale for social communications curricula, an abstract of skills that may be developed within urban and multiethnic public schools including content and knowledge learning experiences, and a 59-item annotated bibliography concerning the development of social communications curricula at grade levels kindergarten through grade 12.
Taylor, G. (1993). The Relationship Between Social Skills Development, Academic Achievement and Interpersonal Relations of African-American Males. 25p. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED390819.
This study was designed to determine if a 1-year structured social skills program would improve academic and interpersonal skills and attendance in young African-American males. Study participants, 33 fourth-grade boys, demonstrated a variety of poor social skills such as poor attendance, poor interpersonal skills, stress, poor organization and study skills, and destructive and aggressive behaviors. The social skills program activities included techniques for improving bonding, attention, sense of belonging, group skills, confidence, motivation, caring, problem solving, and behavior problems. Both teachers and parents were pleased with the significant gains that students made in improving academic and interpersonal skills. The project appeared to significantly change the negative and aggressive behaviors of the boys, to expand their self-images, and to improve grades in reading and mathematics.
Vaughn, S. and others. (1997). Teaching Mainstreamed, Diverse, and At-Risk Students in the General Education Classroom.Allyn & Bacon Inc., 160 Gould St., Needham Heights, MA 02194. 550p.
Designed for general education teachers, this textbook contains more than 40 specific learning activities and sample lessons for immediate practical applications in the inclusive classroom. The book is organized into three major sections. Section 1, "Mainstreaming and Inclusion Strategies for Classroom Teachers," addresses issues regarding mainstreaming, inclusion, and laws, and provides suggestions for how teachers can orchestrate their classrooms for students with special needs. It includes strategies for planning, grouping, managing the classroom, and working collaboratively with parents and professionals. Section 2, "Teaching Students with Disabilities and Diverse Needs," addresses the education of students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, communication disorders, mental retardation and severe disabilities, visual, hearing, and health impairments and physical disabilities. The latter part of this section focuses on teaching students who are culturally and linguistically diverse, students at-risk, and gifted or talented students. Instructional practices and specific accommodations are presented in each of the chapters. Section 3, "Curriculum Adaptations for Special Learners," provides specific instructional practices for curricular areas, including reading, writing, mathematics, and content area learning. An appendix includes 24 activities for teaching self-advocacy, learning strategies, and study skills to older students.
Westby, C. (1997). There's More To Passing than Knowing the Answers. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in School, 28(3), 274-87.
This article discusses the difficulties that students who are culturally/linguistically diverse or students with learning disabilities have in learning "how to do school." Components of learning to do school are described, as well as an ethnographic study of regular and special education students who were learning to do school in inclusive settings.
Yard, G. J. and Vatterott, C. The Dissimilar Learner. A Behavioral Model That Respects Student Diversity. Teacher Education and Practice, 11(1), 42-49. Theme issue title: "Classroom and Behavior Management."
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Inclusive classrooms are responsible for delivering appropriate education to culturally diverse and behaviorally at-risk students. The Intervention with Dissimilar Learners Model (IDL) addresses diverse student needs. Research shows that this four-level intervention system is effective. The paper explains the use of the IDL to increase positive student behavior.
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ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education