Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Johnny L. Matson


The present investigation was designed to examine normal vs. impaired adolescents' social competence according to self, teacher, and parent report. Although the importance of social competence has been established with child and adult populations, few studies have assessed social competence of adolescents. Social competence of learning disabled (LD), behaviorally disordered (BD), and regular education (RE) adolescents was assessed. Nineteen BD, 20 LD, and 66 RE completed self-report measures of social skills and perceived communication/conflict with parents, and sociometric rankings of peers. Teachers of each participating student completed a teacher report measure of the adolescent's social skill, and parents of each student completed a parent report measure of perceived communication and conflict with the targeted adolescent. It was hypothesized that among learning disabled and behaviorally disordered adolescents, social competence would be impaired and that there would be greater rater (i.e., parent, teacher, and self) differences among the impaired populations than for the regular education adolescents. A one-way MANCOVA was performed to assess the differences among the groups of LD, BD, and RE students on measures of social skill, parent-adolescent communication/conflict, and sociometric status. As predicted, results of the MANCOVA yielded differences in social competence among LD, BD, and RE adolescents. No rater effects were found in the present study. The results of the present study are discussed relative to current clinical literature.