Social skills and adaptive behavior represent two subdomains of the superordinate construct of social competence. Adaptive behavior is viewed as the effectiveness and degree to which an individual meets social/cultural standards of personal independence and social responsibility. Social skills represent behaviors which, in specific situations, predict important social outcomes for children and youth. This article presents a conceptualization of social competence relevant for school settings. Relationships between adaptive behavior and social skills are documented and a classification system for social competence deficits is provided. Assessment procedures for classification and intervention purposes will be described with special reference to commonly used adaptive behavior measures.
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