Date of Award

1988

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Mary L. Kelley

Abstract

The Measure of Adolescent Social Competence (MASC) was designed to offer a clinically practical way to assess adolescent social function within relevant contexts. The MASC is a 50-item, self-report measure constructed via the following steps: (a) item generation (N = 271 subjects from grades 7, 9, and 11); (b) item selection and development (N = 604 subjects from grades 7, 9, and 11); (c) response enumeration (N = 154 subjects from grades 7, 9, and 11); and (d) response evaluation by adult raters (e.g., parents, teachers, counselors). Initial validation of the MASC examined its relation to peer nominations, teacher ratings of peer acceptance, and a self-rating of conflict with parents. A sample of 598 subjects in grades 6-12 participated. The MASC was found to have adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Greater performance on the MASC was found to be associated with lower levels of parent-adolescent conflict. The relation between MASC scores and measures of peer acceptance were mixed, however. Correlations with peer nominations and teacher ratings were generally nonsignificant. On the other hand, subjects with high (i.e., one sd above the mean) MASC scores earned higher teacher ratings of peer acceptance than subjects with low (i.e., one sd below the mean) scores, and controversial status subjects outperformed all other peer status groups. The development of the MASC and these initial findings are discussed with respect to a proposed tri-component model of adolescent social competence.

Pages

141

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