Skillstreaming is an evidence-based strategy designed to systematically teach social skills to address the needs of children and youth who display aggression, immaturity, withdrawal and other problem behaviour. Developed by Dr. Arnold P. Goldstein and Dr. Ellen McGinnis, the Skillstreaming program provides resources to address these social skills needs.
Skillstreaming programs have been developed for a range of ages, targeting Early Childhood, the Elementary School Child, the Adolescent, and Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism.
The Skillstreaming approach has four core teaching procedures:
- modelling (learning by imitation)
- role‐playing (enacting a role helps individuals understand what to do and how to do it)
- performance feedback (offering constructive suggestions, encouragement and approval)
- transfer of training and homework (using a particular skill in various other settings).
Each skill is taught following a sequence of steps that illustrate how these procedures are incorporated into the lesson.
Step 1: Define the skill
Step 2: Model the skill
Step 3: Establish the child/youth’s need for the skill
Step 4: Select the first role-player
Step 5: Set up the role-play
Step 6: Conduct the role-play
Step 7: Provide performance feedback
Step 8: Select the next role-player
Step 9: Assign skill homework
The Skillstreaming program is mainly intended to teach children and youth a wide variety of skills needed to solve problems that occur in their daily lives, to be assertive in handing situations that cause them stress or unhappiness, and to increase the chance that they will have satisfying relationships with others.