Author Credentials

Sister Marie Bernadetta Ryan, R.S.M.

Date of Award


Document Type


Superseded Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (Education of Mentally Handicapped)

Colleges & School

Cardinal Stritch College

Degree Granted By

Cardinal Stritch College

First Advisor

Sister Mary Johanna Flanagan, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Social skills in adolescence; Mental retardation; Social skills--Study and teaching


As children learn or develop social responses and social controls, it becomes necessary to train or channel these responses so that they are acceptable to the family and society at large. Mentally retarded children, unable to master the contents of a regular school curricula, need a special developmental program designed to meet their needs. Davies maintains that while it is impossible to increase the intellectual powers of the mentally retarded, it is possible to increase their social efficiency. Thus, the writer decided upon an attempt to formulate a social skills program which would improve the social competence of mentally retarded adolescents. It was hoped that through intensive training in social skills the social adjustment of these children would be facilitated. The present study is an attempt to determine the value of an intensive social skills program pertinent to the improvement of social development. It is hoped that through the medium of this study the answers to the following questions might be found: 1. Will an intensive program in social skills accelerate social development in mentally retarded adolescents? 2. Will a period of such training accelerate social development beyond that which is normally expected of children with social retardation? 3. Will this acceleration remain permanent in accordance with the child's chronological age? Further longitudinal studies on accelerating social development would be of great value to educators and those whose duty it is to devise special educational curricula.


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