A social goals perspective on children's social competence
Developing a more comprehensive understanding of social competence and the reasons for social relationship difficulties requires attention to the kinds of goals children are pursuing in specific social situations. In this article, the authors describe several theoretical models of social information processing, each of which includes goals as a crucial component in motivating children's behavior. The authors also review evidence from studies of children who are aggressive, withdrawn/submissive, or prosocial that points to an association between children's goals, their strategies for coping with problematic social tasks, and their ultimate success or failure in social relationships. Attention is also given to various social-cognitive processes that may be linked to children's tendencies to formulate adaptive versus maladaptive goals. Finally, the implications of a social goals perspective for interventions with children with emotional and behavioral problems is discussed.
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
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