School Psychology Review

An Intervention for a Withdrawn Child Based on Teacher Recorded Levels of Social Interaction

Bayard S. Tarpley, Richard A. Saudergas

pp. 409-412

Neuropsychology in the Schools

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Several studies that have been conducted with isolated preschool children have demonstrated successful techniques for increasing the withdrawn child’s social interactions with peers. The two main strategies are teacher attention (Allen, Bart, Buell, Harris, and Wolf, 1964)and peer prompting (Nordquist and Bradley, 1973; Strain, Shores, and Timm, 1977). The research literature does not indicate to practitioners which technique or combination of intervention techniques might be more effective. Withdrawn children apparently fall along a continuum with respect to their differential interaction with adults and peers (Goetz, Thomson,and Etzel, 1975). There are those children who interact with adults but rarely interact with peers and there are children who rarely interact with adults but have no interaction problems with peers. A third group of children interact with adults and peers at equally low levels. It would therefore seem helpful for practitioners to know the relative levels of interaction that a withdrawn child has with adults and peers so that an intervention strategy based upon the behavior of the child could be designed. In the present study, the withdrawn child was observed to interact frequently with teachers and only minimally with peers. An intervention was thus designed with the teacher, rather than peers, as the focal point.