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The social problem-solving skills of anxious-withdrawn children

  • Shannon L. Stewart (a1) and Kenneth H. Rubin (a1)


The purpose of this investigation was to contrast the social competencies of groups of extremely withdrawn and average children. Fifty-five kindergarten, Grade 2 and Grade 4 children were observed during dyadic play in a laboratory setting. Results indicated that (a) withdrawn children displayed fewer social problem-solving initiations, produced fewer socially assertive strategies, and were less successful in their attempts, compared to their more sociable age-mates; (b) average children experienced fewer failures in meeting their social goals with increasing age but withdrawn children did not; (c) the discrepancy in failure rates for “high cost” social goals between the two target groups increased with increasing age; and (d) withdrawn children were less likely than average children to reinitiate a social problem-solving attempt subsequent to failure.


Corresponding author

Shannon L. Stewart, Department of Psychology, CPRI, 600 Sanatorium Rd., London, Ontario N6H 3W7, Canada.


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