Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Kelly-Vance


This study examines the effectiveness of the Circle of Friends (COF) program in improving social skills of elementary students using 3 case studies. Social skills groups utilized a cognitive-behavioral approach and problem solving sessions. Groups were heterogeneous in nature, including regular education and special education students. Students serving as targets for intervention were identified as having a disability, as well as exhibiting poor social skills according to their classroom teachers. Social skills for all target students were evaluated by results of the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) - parent, teacher, and student report forms, as well as teacher recorded behavioral data over the course of 10 weeks. Social skills for nontarget students were evaluated by results of the SSRS - teacher and student report. Social skills for students with disabilities improved over the course of the study according to teacher and parent reports, but decreased according to student self reports. Nontarget circle members maintained average level social skills throughout the course of the study. Results indicate COF may contribute to improvements in social skills for children with disabilities, and the maintenance of average level social skills for students without disabilities. Implications are discussed for school psychologists.


An Ed.S. Field Project Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Education Specialist University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Shellee L. Reiff August, 1998