Modifying Socially Withdrawn Behavior: A Playground Intervention

Posted: September 3rd, 2013





Modifying Socially Withdrawn Behavior: A Playground Intervention

Michelle R. Marchant was born in 1968 and lives in Wyoming. She currently works as professor in Psychology at the University of Brigham. She has worked most of her life in institutions and has had the chance to read behavior of students and people in general. She deals with people’s behavioral research, especially among students and their reaction to different social settings. The article in which is the lead author entails of a study about modification of social behavior. She offers insights that can be easily incorporated to intervene on internalizing behavior by students. This includes an out of class approach such as social skills instruction by the teachers and reinforcement systems.


1. The article entails of approaches used by Marchant and the other authors in interventions for children with internalizing behavior in schools, homes and non-school environments.

2. The article considers the ability of interaction with peers and people in society is a vital skill in the development of a student as it influences the student-teacher relationship and their relationships with other students in school as well as out of school environments.


1. They emphasize the need for more studies to find intervention means for enhancing social skills of the students. Internalizing behaviors present a challenge to teachers because students who exhibit internalizing behaviors are covert in nature and aloof, as they detest association with peers and people around them. Identification and treatment of children for their internalizing tendencies usually has positive results.

2. School environments determine the formation of internalizing behaviors as the student bases relationships based on past schooling experiences. Internalizing disorders are categorized into four types: depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and physical problems.


•Cognitive behavior therapy reports positive results in treatment of anxiety and depression problems for the students.

• Internalization disorders warrant interventions as they dictate the behavior of a student. Without the presence of peer interactions by the students, they tend to develop internalizing behavior that is affects their interpersonal development and development of their behavior. An effective treatment package consists of three approaches: social skill instruction, peer mediation and self-management system coupled with a reinforcement system. It is unclear as to what approaches acted best in affecting the behavior of the students. The combination of the three approaches had a significant alteration of the behavior of the students.

•The use of peer mediation approach progresses the social interactions by the students in a classroom or school setting.

•The use of peer mediation enforces the fact that social instructions have a positive impact on the interactions of the students with internalizing issues.

•Self-management intervention in the efforts of intervening on the internalizing behavior of students acted as a motivational tool in enhancing the interactions of the students with internalization issues.

•The use of self-management approach had a far-reaching positive effect as students found such an approach easy to apply and relate to at the same time they considered it as fun. A playground approach is effective because the students find it very practical and fun to execute such that they look forward to applying the newfound skills in non-school settings.

•They find the effort of making friends as enjoyable and long for such activities. The use rewards acts as motivation in forming new social behavior.

•The results of the study were conclusive by illustrating the effects of the non-classroom approaches in cultivating their elations with other students and with people that they relate with in society.

•Such has a positive effect in behavioral development, as they are able to have better social skills that are vital in society and for building interpersonal relations.

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