Preschoolers' Social Skills: Advances in Assessment for Intervention Using Social Behavior Ratings

Jennifer R. Frey, Stephen Elliott, Frank M. Gresham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Social skills play an important role in young children's successes in and outside of school. For two decades, educators have used the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS; Gresham & Elliott, 1990) as a tool for describing children's social behaviors and for planning interventions to improve social skills. Although widely used, some researchers have criticized certain aspects of the preschool version of the SSRS. In 2008, a revision of the instrument, the Social Skills Improvement System-Rating Scales (SSiS-RS; Gresham & Elliott), was published. In this article, we examine the development of the preschool versions of SSRS and SSiS-RS and provide a comparison of the two rating systems, focusing on the content, structure, psychometric properties, and intended use of the instruments. We then describe the SSiS-RS within an assessment for intervention model. We conclude that the SSiS-RS is an improved assessment instrument over the preschool SSRS and provide recommendations for future studies that will contribute to the evolving validity evidence for the resulting scores and decisions made from them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Preschool
  • Problem behavior
  • Social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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