Social skills are the ability to interact with others in prosocial or supportive and caring ways. They include confidence, competence, empathy, persistence at tasks, and the ability to follow directions. In addition, since human interactions also involve affectivity, the ability to identify, understand, communicate, and regulate emotions improves social competency. There are many other interdependent environmental and developmental factors that influence social skill acquisition.

Several theories explain the development of prosocial behavior. Social learning theorists suggest that appropriate behavior is the result of interactions with, and observation of, others. Behaviorists explain social behavior through the reinforcement mechanisms that occur within the social environment. Both theories infer that social skills develop through social interaction. In addition, neurodevelopmental scholars have demonstrated how early brain plasticity enables infants and ...

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