Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

Submission Type



The teaching interaction procedure (TIP) is a strategy that has been demonstrated as effective in promoting social skill acquisition in school settings for young students with social communication deficits (Leaf et al., 2009; Leaf et al., 2010). However, a frequently cited criticism of social skills training is the lack of generalizability of target skills to novel contexts (Bellini et al., 2007). The purpose of the study was to evaluate a TIP-based social skills intervention conducted on the playground, intended to promote generalizability through training in naturalistic settings and to evaluate generalizability of skill acquisition to the classroom. Eight students 5-8 years old with an educational classification of autism or developmental delay participated in the study. The primary dependent variable was skill acquisition in the playground setting, and a secondary measure was generalized skill acquisition to the classroom setting. Target skills included appropriate body language, participation, and responding to initiations. A multi-probe design embedded within a multiple baseline design across target skills with concurrent replication across participants was used to evaluate the primary and secondary measures. Overall, results suggest that increases in skill acquisition were observed during implementation of the TIP across most participants and skills in both training and generalization phases. However, substantial variability was noted across participants related to maintaining skill acquisition during maintenance and follow-up phases in both the training and generalization settings. Limitations of these results are discussed as well as implications for school practitioners.