14 SES 09 B, Family Learning, Parental Knowledge, Competence and Expectations
Social skills are described as learned behaviors that help people react positively during their interaction with others and help them avoid socially unacceptable behaviors (Gresham and Elliott, 1987; Gresham and Elliott, 1990). These skills include having eye contact, social behaviors such as waiting for his/her turn and asking for permission before taking other children’s belongings, affective-behavior regulation strategies that prevent the emergence of behaviors leading to disorders, social-cognitive processes that can be used to solve social problems such as interpreting social cues to understand others’ intentions, and social knowledge such as understanding what it means to be friends (Leffert and Siperstein, 2003). Social relations established during childhood period are one of the determinants of individual’s rapport in adulthood period. The social skills acquired and not acquired in this period are of vital importance in child’s life (Koçak and Tepeli, 2004). In particular, failure to develop these skills can lead to different complications (such as child’s being prone to commit crime in later ages, school disadaptation or being expelled from school) in child’s life (Floether, 2006). In this regard, one of the most important achievements of childhood period is to develop these skills in order to establish a successful relation (Gresham and Elliott, 1987; Gresham and Elliott, 1990). Family has a special and important place among many factors that affect social skills and socialization. This is because children learn their first social skills from their families (Nelson, 2009). Therefore, it is seen that parents have direct or indirect influence on their children’s social skills. While their proximity to their children (Driscoll and Pianta, 2011), parenting styles (Chae and Lee, 2011), disciplinary methods (Zeijl and others; 2007) and model behaviors (Bigner, 2006) have a direct influence, offering their children the opportunity to implement social skills have an indirect influence on these social skills (Kail, 2004). In this regard, it is emphasized that children who meet the expectations of their parents and who have positive relationships with their parents can express their emotions more effectively, display more appropriate social skills and display less problem behaviors (Smith, Calkins and Keane, 2006; Spinrad and others, 2007). Therefore, it is of great importance to determine parents’ expectations about their children’s social skills (Lane and others, 2007).
This study aimed to investigate fathers’ expectations about social skills for the achievements of preschool children at home and school environment. In this regard, it was examined what social skills were seen as very important by fathers for their children. The study group consisted of 138 fathers. These fathers’ children (74 female and 64 male) were in 5 year-old groups of 19 nursery classes within Elementary Schools affiliated by Ministry of National Education and 9 independent preschools (total of 28 preschool education institutions) in Ankara province of Turkey. The study group was chosen by using random sampling method. Data collection tools of this study were Social Skills Rating System (SSRS / 3-5 year-old) Parent Form for assessing the expectations about social skills and General Information Form for investigating personal information. Social Skills Rating System Parent Form, which is designed for preschool children (3-5 year-old), consists of 49 items and 2 scales (Social Skill Scale – Problem Behaviors Scale). The first scale is “Social Skill Scale” consisting of 39 items. Social Skill Scale consists of 4 sub-scales that measure positive social behaviors. The second scale is “Problem Behaviors Scale (PBS)” consisting of nine items. Problem Behaviors Scale consists of two sub-scales: these two sub-scales measured externalized behaviors (undesired behaviors such as verbal or physical aggression against others, being unable to control his/her anger and discussion) and internalized behaviors (such as low self-esteem, loneliness, unhappiness and anxiety). In SSRS, two types of measurements are used based on frequency and importance. In SSRS Parent Form, frequency-based measurements include 1-49 items and importance-based measurements include 1-39 items. Importance-based measurements are not made in Problem Behaviors Scale. Social Skill Scale within SSRS Parent Form was employed in this study. In importance dimension of SSRS Parent Form, it is assessed how important each skill on the scale is for the development of the children and what the expectations of parents about these behaviors are by taking into consideration the behaviors displayed by each child for the past one or two month. If the specific behavior is not important for the development of children, it is rated as zero (0). If behavior is important, it is rated as one (1). If behavior is very important or critical, it is rated as two (2).
In this study, the items that 50% or more of the fathers found ‘very important’ and rated 2 points in Social Skills Rating System (SSRS / 3-5 year-old) Parent Form are accepted as very important and critical skills and these items express fathers’ expectations about their children. As a result of this study, it was seen that fathers assessed 11 sub-skills within cooperation, self-expression, responsibility and self-esteem skills related to the social skills of their children as ‘very important’. It was determined that the first two sub-skills were related to cooperation skill. These sub-skills were ‘My child talks to me about his/her problems’ and ‘My child complies with the house rules’. In this study, data were collected from only fathers by means of SSRS / Parent Form and data were not collected separately from mothers and fathers. Therefore, whether the expectations of mothers and fathers about their children’s social skills and scores obtained from these two groups differ from each other can be investigated in future studies by means of collecting data from both mothers and fathers with SSRS / Parent Form. In addition to this, multi-source assessment can be made by observing social skills and problem behaviors of children and their interaction behaviors with peers in school and home environments and by comparing the observational data with the assessments of parents and teachers. In this study, data were collected from the fathers living in Turkey. Therefore, in future studies, whether there is a relationship between expectations about social skills and whether these expectations are influenced by cultural differences can be investigated by comparing the expectations of teachers and fathers in Turkey and other countries.
Bigner, J.J. (2006). Parent- child relations: An introduction to parenting (Seventh edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education. Chae, J-Y., Lee, K.Y. (2011). Impacts of Korean fathers’ attachment and parenting behavior on their children’s social competence. Social Behavior And Personality, 39(5), 627-644. Driscoll, K. ve Pianta, R. C. (2011). Mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions of conflict and closeness in parent-child relationships during early childhood. Journal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology, (7), 1-24. Floether, C.S. (2006). The impact of intergenerational care settings on social skills building in preschool-aged children. Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Capella University. Gresham, F.M. ve Elliott, S.N. (1987). The relationship between adaptive behavior and social skills: Issues in definition and assessment. The Journal Of Special Education, 21 (1), 167-181. Gresham, F.M. ve Elliott, S.N. (1990). Social skills rating system manual.circle pines, MN: American Guidance Service. Kail, R.V. (2004). Children and their development (Third edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education. Koçak, N. ve Tepeli, K. (2004). 4 – 5 yaş çocuklarında sosyal ilişkiler ve işbirliği davranışlarının çeşitli değişkenler açısından incelenmesi. Marmara Üniversitesi. I. Uluslararası Okul Öncesi Eğitim Kongresi. Bildiri Kitabi II. Cilt. 9-22. Lane, K.L., Stanton-Chapman, T., Jamison, K. R. ve Phillips, A. (2007). Teacher and parent expectations of preschoolers’ behavior: Social skills necessary for success. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 27(2), 86-97. Leffert, J., Siperstein, G. N. (2003). Social skills instruction for students with learning disabilities. Current Practice Alerts. 9. Nelson, L. E. (2009). An observational study of social skills learning within third, fourth and fifth grade. Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Smith, C.L., Calkins, S.D., Keane, S.P. (2006). The relation of maternal behavior and attachment security to toddlers’ emotions and emotion regulation. Research in Human Development, 3(1), 21-31. Spinrad, T.L., Eisenberg, N., Gaertner, B., Popp, T., Smith, C.L., Kupfer, A., Greving, K., Liew, J., ve Hofer, C. (2007). Relations of maternal socialization and toddler’s effortful control to children’s adjustment and social competence. Developmental Psychology, 43(5), 1170-1186. Tutkun, C., & Dinçer, Ç. (2015). Okul öncesi dönem çocukların başarısı için çok önemli görülen sosyal becerilere ilişkin beklentilerin incelenmesi. Ankara Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Fakültesi Dergisi, 48(1), 65-85. Zeijl, J., Mesman, J., Stolk, M. N., Alink, L.R.A., IJzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., … Koot, H.M. (2007). Differential susceptibility to discipline: the moderating effect of child temperament on the association between maternal discipline and early childhood externalizing problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 21 (4), 626–636.
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