An Afrocentric Approach to Group Social Skills Training with Inner-City African-American Adolescents.Report as inadecuate

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Social Skills Training (SST) has become a popular and effective means of prevention and intervention with adolescent populations exhibiting behavioral difficulties. Early in their development many African-American youth are exposed to homicide, crime, and interpersonal violence. The acquisition of social skills is critical to the development of mediational techniques in combating these stressors. Standard SST programs, which are not culturally specific, are thought to be less effective in producing durable gains with African-American youth. This study examines the effects of an Afrocentric SST curriculum, in comparison to a standard SST curriculum, in promoting social skills development with 89 inner-city African-American youth (ages 10-15). Each 12-session curriculum teaches these skills as part of a community-based summer youth program involving problem solving, anger management, and conflict resolution. In addition, the Afrocentric curriculum incorporates discussion of relevant cultural experiences as they relate to the ancient and recent history of African Americans based on the Nguzo Saba cultural value system principles of: Umoja (unity); Kujichagulia (self-determination); Ujima (collective work and responsibility); Ujamma (cooperative economics); Nia (purpose); Kuumba (creativity); and Imani (father). Both curricula use manuals with intervention protocols that feature didactic and process-based training in a small group format. Monitoring and evaluation procedures are used to ensure treatment integrity. Results support the hypothesis that social skills training can produce significant gains in interpersonal skills and anger management for inner-city African American adolescents. (Contains 3 tables and 36 references.) (Author/SLD)

Descriptors: Afrocentrism, Anger, Behavior Problems, Black Youth, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Background, Curriculum, Group Instruction, Inner City, Intermediate Grades, Interpersonal Competence, Secondary Education, Skill Development, Training, Urban Problems, Urban Schools, Urban Youth, Values, Violence

Author: Banks, Reginald; And Others


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