Patterns of social-behavioral competence in behavior disordered preschoolers

Debra C. Eisert, Hill M. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The relationship between social-behavioral competencies and behavior disorders was investigated in a preschool setting. Nineteen children who attended a Headstart program were assessed using the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders Procedure, the Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment, behavioral observations in classroom and playground settings and sociometrics. Nine children were identified as Externalizers, five as Internalizers and five as Controls. Results indicated that Externalizers and Internalizers were clearly differentiated from Controls on a range of diverse adjustment measures including teacher ratings, sociometrics and observations. The two behavior disordered groups received generally lower scores than controls indicting less socially competent behavior. In addition, Externalizers had the highest scores on ratings of their maladaptive behavior while Internalizers had the lowest scores on ratings of social skills directed toward peers. Implications for their long-term adjustment and recommendations for future research are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


  • Social-behavioural competence
  • disordered preschooolers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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