Evaluation of a Visual Art Social Skills Intervention for Elementary Children

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Elana Bernstein


Social skills are critical for a child to establish and maintain relationships and perform in society. Evidence-based social skills training (SST) programs delivered in school at tier 2 are an efficient way to provide interventions to students. Thoughtfully combining visual art with an SST program provides students the opportunity to engage with content in a more meaningful way. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a small group social skills intervention that utilized visual art experiences and activities to support the development of social skills for students in elementary school. Students received SST in one of two groups; the only difference between groups was the inclusion of visual art components in the experimental group. Weekly direct behavior ratings (DBRs) and pre/post administration of the SSIS-RS were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Findings suggest that embedding visual arts components in an SST program can be an effective strategy to teach social skills. Implications for effective delivery of an SST intervention delivered through the arts are discussed.


social skills, SST, visual art, interventions, elementary

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