Social-skills training to modify abusive verbal outbursts in adults

J Appl Behav Anal. Summer 1976;9(2):117-25. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1976.9-117.


Social-skills training was used to modify abusive verbal outbursts displayed by two adult psychiatric patients. Five target behaviors--looking, irrelevant comments, hostile comments, inappropriate requests, and appropriate requests were monitored during role-played situations. Social-skills training, consisting of behavior rehearsal with modelling, focused instructions, and feedback, was introduced in a multiple-baseline design across individuals. Training improved all target behaviors. The improved behavior generalized to: (1) novel scenes role-played with the original respondent, (2) training and novel scenes role-played with a different respondent, and (3) interpersonal situations on the hospital ward.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aggression
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Role Playing
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Behavior*
  • Verbal Behavior*