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Children Exhibiting Social Skills graph Poverty Status graph Back to top

Social Skills

Children begin developing positive social skills at an early age, a process that will influence their relationships with others throughout their lives. Parents of children aged 6-17 years were asked if their children had never, rarely, sometimes, usually, or always exhibited each of the following behaviors in the past month: showed respect for teachers and neighbors; got along well with other children; tried to understand other people's feelings; and tried to resolve conflict with classmates, family, or friends.

The prevalence of individual social skills varied greatly. Parents of 93.7 percent of children reported that they usually or always showed respect for teachers and neighbors, and 90.4 percent get along well with other children, while 75.3 percent of children were reported to have tried to understand other people's feelings, and 68.9 percent tried to resolve conflict with classmates, family, or friends.

While most children displayed positive social skills to some degree, children were considered to consistently display social skills if parents responded "usually" or "always" to two or more of these questions. Overall, 93.6 percent of children were reported to consistently exhibit positive social skills (data not shown).

The display of social skills varied by household income. Children with higher household incomes were more likely than those with lower incomes to do so. Among children aged 6-17 years with household incomes below the poverty level, 87.9 percent conveyed social skills, compared to 97.3 percent of children whose family incomes were 400 percent or more of poverty.

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