- Cognitive behavioural programme that assumes that cognitions affect behaviour.
- Based on the assumption that criminals lack social skills and that acquisition of these skills will reduce reoffending.
- They start by learning micro-skills such as eye contact and distance and then move on to macro skills such as assertiveness and negotiation.
- Based on Social Learning Theory
- The training procedure involves rehearsal, modelling, role play and feedback to practice appropriate intrapersonal skills.
- Programmes start with non verbal skills then practice these in situations.
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- Spence and Marzillier (1981) recorded improvements in micro skills of inmates after 3 months but these improvements had disappeared after 6 months.
- Goldstein (1986) conducted a meta analysis of 30 SST studies and found that social skills had been learned
- Goldstein (1989) found that only 15-20% of trainees could apply skills learned to real life.
- Spence and Marzillier (1981) reported an increase in self esteem and control in life by those receiving SST. However so did those not receiving training but discussing their problems.
- Aiken et al puts forward that SST is useful to equip adolescents with the skills that they won’t become involved in crime in the first place.
- Hollin (1990) argues that there is no research to suggest that a lack of social skills leads to crime and there is also no evidence to suggest that those receiving SST lacked these skills in the first place.
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