Programa de habilidades sociais profissionais para pessoas com deficiência física desempregadas : necessidades, processo e efeitos
Pereira, Camila de Sousa
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Aiming to promote better employability conditions among people with physical disability, the literature review indicates the improvement of the social skills repertoire. Social skills programs can contribute to an individual s entry, adaptation and career development in the job market. The purpose of the current research was to assess the need, the process and the effects of a Professional Social Skills Training Program for physically disabled people who were looking for a job. The research involved a multiple probe design with two separate groups. The sample consisted of 16 people with physical disability, between the ages of 18 to 36, assigned to either: an experimental group (G1) or a wait-list control group (G2). First, the pretest was conducted with both groups. Then, the intervention was carried out with the G1, followed by the posttest at this time, the second pretest was conducted with the G2. Next, the same intervention was conducted with the G2, followed by the posttest and a third assessment of G1. Finally, each group was evaluated using the follow-up assessment. The dependent variable (social skills performance) was measured using different instruments (self-report and direct observation), various indicators (frequency, difficulty, quality) and in everyday and specific work situations. The instruments used were the: (a) Social Skills Inventory; (b) Interpersonal Difficulties Scale; and (c) Professional Social Skills Observation Protocol. Other instruments used include: Self-Assessment Professional Entry Questionnaire, Assessment Learned Social Skills Questionnaire, Peer Assessment, Field Diary and Observation Record for each Session. The independent variable consisted of an intervention, Professional Social Skills Training Program. In order to analyze the data, descriptive statistics and nonparametric tests were used, making both intergroup and intragroup comparisons. The Needs Assessment indicated deficits in the participants social skills repertoire and contributed to program planning. The program was conducted in a group context, with 16 sessions of approximately 90 minutes each. Considering interpersonal relations at work as the underlying context, the skills that were addressed included: civility, feedback, communication, irrational beliefs, empathy, offering help, citizenship, assertiveness, criticism, problem solving, job interview skills and expression of positive feelings. Some of the key teaching strategies included: experiential strategy, homework assignments, instruction, positive reinforcement, behavioral rehearsal, modeling and feedback. The Process Assessment revealed that both groups had high attendance, achieved intermediate goals, completed homework assignments, had high involvement in the group activities, and reported examples of progress and skills generalization to their natural context. For both groups, the Results Assessment showed significant gains in social skills after the application of the program, maintenance of skills improvements after two and four months and generalization of learned skills to other contexts and with other partners from the natural environment. Very likely, this program can be used in various institutions.