Social skills are positive abilities that help children to interact with others in various situations. Many previous studies have found that failure in acquiring social skills or atypical development of social skills is predictive of later problem behavior, social maladjustment, and low academic achievement. Currently, however, few scales exist to measure the social skills of Japanese preschoolers. In Study 1, a large-scale cohort study was used to develop a scale that enables an appropriate measure of individual differences in preschoolers' social skills. The obtained 3-factor structure was consistent with published studies done in Western countries, and the scale was found to have excellent internal consistency and temporal stability. In Study 2, the relation between the newly developed scale, problem behavior, and autistic tendencies was analyzed. The results confirmed that the present scale demonstrates both concurrent and predictive validity. It is possible that early intervention based on screening with this scale might assist children to develop soundly.
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