Effects of peer social initiations on the behavior of withdrawn preschool children

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Social approach to peers was evaluated as an intervention for isolate preschoolers. During baseline, confederate peers made few social approaches to the target subjects. Confederates greatly increased their rate of social approaches during the first intervention, decreased social approaches during a second baseline, and increased social approaches again in a second intervention phase. Increases in confederate social initiations immediately increased the frequency of subjects' positive social behavior. Additionally, five of six subjects showed an increase in their own positive social initiations during intervention periods. The results suggest that: (a) peers may be programmed to increase the positive social behaviors of their isolate classmates, and (b) remediating social deficits requires assessment and intervention specifically tailored to the individual child.