Joining schools and families in social skills training

Period of Performance: 12/01/2003 - 08/31/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

3-C Institute for Social Development
DURHAM, NC 27713
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by investigator): Prevention and treatment research supports the use of social skills training for improving children's peer relations, social behavior, and emotional adjustment. Research shows that multi-component intervention efforts which target both the school and home environments are more effective than focusing exclusively on either domain. The goal of this project is to develop and test a research-based universal social skills program, entitled "Interacting With Kids" (Interact!), for 3rd through 5th grade elementary school students. Interact! will offer multi-media resources, both in the classroom and through prime-time television specials, interactive web resources, and a skill-based curriculum specifically aimed at enhancing social skills. Interact! will not only offer schools a significant advancement over what is currently available for use with elementary students, but it will also provide communities with a unique means of bridging school and home efforts to promote the social development of children. During Phase I, the first two units (impulse control & Self-awareness) will be developed for the prototype. Interact! will include three core parts: (1) a universal classroom curriculum, (2) 30-minute television specials, and (3) a web-based resource center for parents, teachers, and students. The classroom curriculum will include a Facilitator's Guide with implementation instructions for three lessons per unit with five different types of activities (i.e., video based, drama, art, writing, experiential). An Interact! resource center will be developed on the company website to provide supplemental resources for parents and teachers and supplemental activities for children. The second task for Phase I will be to conduct an initial test of feasibility within a targeted market (i.e., teachers and school counselors; n=60) and with end users (i.e., parents and children; n=42). Phase I findings will provide the foundation for the complete Interact! intervention to be developed during Phase II, including eight additional units and Spanish translations. Once finalized, a scientific evaluation of the efficacy of Interact! will be conducted through an experimental design examining changes in social behavior and relations. This research will be instrumental in establishing Interact! as an efficacious competitor in the intervention marketplace. There is high demand for research-based social skills programs. The estimated market size exceeds $360 million in potential sales to school systems alone.