Corina-Elizabeth Núñez-Hernández1 Professor at the Technical University of Ambato. Master in Educational Planning and Administration, Educational Psychologist and Vocational Counselor, Coordinator of the Curriculum Organization Unit of the Psych pedagogy career.
Víctor-Segundo Hernández-del-Salto1
Daniel-Sebastián Jerez-Camino1
Danny-Gonzalo Rivera-Flores1
Marcelo-Wilfrido Núñez-Espinoza1

1Technical University of Ambato. Ecuador

Prosocial behavior plays an important role in the academic performance of adolescents. This type of behavior has a positive impact on both self-assessment and the assessment of others, which in turn contributes to the adolescent feeling motivated to act in a prosocial way. Through the fulfillment of the objectives, it was possible to describe the social skills of the enrolled adolescents and analyze indicators of prosocial behavior in adolescents. A structured questionnaire validated with the Alpha of Crombash was applied to the adolescents. The approach to the problem was made through qualitative-descriptive research, which seeks to determine the incidence of the variables. Through the verification of the hypothesis, a value judgment is obtained to arrive at the conclusions that allow us to offer a proposal that integrates the training of students as biopsychosocial beings. The social behaviors allowed us to know the development of intervention experiences in the educational context, the identification of social skills with their peers and teachers for the promotion of their behaviors.

KEY WORDS: Social Skills, Assessment, Academic Performance, Interpersonal Relations, Communication, Behavior

El comportamiento prosocial juega un papel importante en el rendimiento académico de los adolescentes. Este tipo de comportamiento tiene un impacto positivo tanto en la autovaloración como en la valoración de los demás, lo que contribuye, a su vez, a que el adolescente se sienta motivado a actuar de modo prosocial. Mediante el cumplimiento de los objetivos, se logró describir las habilidades sociales de los adolescentes escolarizados y analizar indicadores del comportamiento prosocial en los adolescentes. Se aplicó a los adolescentes un cuestionario estructurado y validado con el Alfa de Crombash. La aproximación del problema se hizo mediante la investigación cualitativa-descriptiva, la cual busca determinar la incidencia de las variables. Mediante la comprobación de la hipótesis se obtiene un juicio de valor para llegar a las conclusiones que permiten plantear una propuesta que integra la formación de los estudiantes como seres biopsicosociales. Los comportamientos sociales permitieron que se conozcan el desarrollo de experiencias
intervención en el contexto educativo, la identificación de habilidades sociales con sus pares y docentes para la promoción de sus comportamientos.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Habilidades sociales; Evaluación; Rendimiento Académico; Relaciones interpersonales; Comunicación; Comportamiento

O comportamento pró-social joga um papel importante no rendimento acadêmico dos adolescentes. Este tipo de comportamento tem um impacto positivo tanto na auto- valorização como na valorização dos demais, o que contribui que o adolescente se sinta motivado a atuar de modo pró-social. Mediante o cumprimento dos objetivos conseguiu descrever as habilidades sociais dos adolescentes escolarizados e analisar indicadores do seu comportamento pró-social. Foi aplicado um questionário estruturado e validado com o Alfa de Crombash. A aproximação do problema foi feito mediante a investigação qualitativa-descritiva, a qual busca determinar a incidência das variáveis. Mediante a comprovação das hipóteses obtém um juízo de valor para chegar as conclusões que permitem propor uma proposta que integra a formação dos estudantes como seres biopsicossociais. Os comportamentos sociais permitiram que se conheçam o desenvolvimento de experiências de intervenção no contexto educativo, a identificação de habilidades sociais com seus pares e docentes para promoção de seus comportamentos.

PALAVRAS CHAVE: habilidades sociais; avaliação; rendimento académico; relações interpessoais; comunicação; comportamento

Correspondence: Corina Elizabeth Núñez Hernández: Technical University of Ambato. Ecuador.
Víctor Segundo Hernández del Salto: Technical University of Ambato. Ecuador.
Daniel Sebastián Jerez Camino: Technical University of Ambato. Ecuador.
Danny Gonzalo Rivera Flores: Technical University of Ambato. Ecuador.
Marcelo Wilfrido Núñez Espinoza: Technical University of Ambato. Ecuador.

Received: 15/12/2017
Acepted: 28/02/2018

How to cite the article
Núñez Hernández, C.; Hernández del Salto, V.; Jerez Camino, D.; Rivera Flores, D.; Núñez Espinoza, M. (2018). Social skills in academic performance in teens. [Las habilidades sociales en el rendimiento académico en adolescentes] Revista de Comunicación de la SEECI, 47, 37-49. doi: http://doi.org/10.15198/seeci.2018.47.37-49. Recuperado de http://www.seeci.net/revista/index.php/seeci/article/view/518


In academic life, skill and effort are not synonymous; effort does not guarantee success, and skill begins to take on greater importance. This is due to a certain cognitive capacity that allows the student to make a mental elaboration of the causal implications of managing the self-perceptions of skill and effort. These self-perceptions, although being complementary, do not have the same weight for the student; according to the model, being perceived as skillful (capable) is the central element (Erazo, 2010). In this sense, in the school context, teachers value effort more than skill. In other words, while a student expects to be recognized for his / her ability, which is important for his / her esteem, the effort is recognized in the classroom. Therefore, this paper explains the problem of the inapplicability of social skills by teachers of different subjects within the teaching-learning process, in order to have students achieve optimal performance, we seek to articulate the work done by other authors and the experience lived in the piece of research presented by the author.
 Social skills are analyzed by Positive Psychology, the premise of which is that the human being has states of psychic disorders (Adserá, 2008). These states are human strengths, which lead to emotional states, cognitive processes that facilitate social interaction, enabling the adolescent to successfully face the challenges, difficulties and adversities in their daily social interaction. According to Castro (2010), it is necessary to address the study not only of the difficulties but also of the strengths and capacities of adolescents, to a greater or lesser extent, to deal with the disappearance of psychological disorders, seeking greater psychological well-being. Casullo & Fernández (2016) state that Positive Psychology analyzes both weaknesses and strengths inherent to students and their context. The study will understand and explain how and through what mechanisms, even in circumstances of maximum stress, many people are able to develop positive emotions, effective coping resources, productive life projects and various strengths, which allow them to have a positive mental attitude
 The Academic Performance is understood as the system that measures the achievements and the construction of knowledge in students, which are created by the intervention of educational didactics that are evaluated through qualitative and quantitative methods in a subject, Jiménez, 2000 (as quoted in Navarro, 2013); and Paba, 2008 (as quoted in Zapata, Reyes, Lewis, & Barceló, 2011). Its objectivity is in the fact of evaluating knowledge expressed in notes, but in reality it is a complex phenomenon resulting from subjective characteristics, which are necessary to understand and link to educational action, social sciences and educational psychology Lambating & Allen, 2002 (as quoted in Casanova, Torre, & Villa, 2015). Nowadays, there are several pieces of research that are aimed at finding explanations of low academic performance, which range from exploratory, descriptive and correlational studies to explanatory studies (Erazo OA, 2012); although it is true that it is an arduous task to locate specific pieces of research that describe or explain the nature of the variables associated with academic success or failure, it is also true that the theoretical and bibliographic heritage to support a piece of research of this nature is enriching (Edel, 2013).
 In the research work, it was possible to verify the influence of management of social skills on the academic performance of the students that were studied, when determining the level of management of social skills and an analysis through their study habits, averages and other indicators that allowed us to contrast the information to be able to verify this hypothesis. The objective that arises in this paper is to make known the different positions of authors who have conducted research on the problem posed, and relate to the research work of the author who conducted the piece of research in the Educational Unit.

1.1. Social Skills

Several authors such as Hersen & Bellack (2007) define social skill as the ability to express positive and negative feelings without resulting in a loss of social reinforcement. The behavior that allows a person to act based on their most important interests, defend themselves without inappropriate anxiety, comfortably express honest feelings or exercise personal rights without denying the rights of others (Alberti & Emmos, 2008). A set of identifiable, learned behaviors that individuals use in interpersonal situations to obtain or maintain the reinforcement of their environment (Nelly, 2012). The complex ability to emit behaviors that are positively or negatively reinforced, and not to emit behaviors that are punished or extinguished by others (Libert & Lewinsohn, 2013). A set of behaviors issued by an individual in an interpersonal context that expresses their feelings, attitudes, desires, opinions or rights in a manner appropriate to the situation, respecting those behaviors in others and that generally resolves the immediate problems of the situation while minimizing the probability of future problems (Caballo, 2016). The ability to seek, maintain or improve reinforcement in an interpersonal situation through the expression of feelings or desires when that expression risks the loss of reinforcement or even punishment (Rich & Schoeder, 2016).
 All these definitions are intended to show how the term relates to the interaction of people with others, taking into account that human beings, since birth, are social by nature, taking into account that they must meet a series of needs such as dressing, housing, health, and education, and for this reason they must adapt to the learning styles they have, at present the learning of the students no longer depends on the teaching of the teachers, but on the interaction of them as a means, taking into account that students are considered biopsychosocial entities, studies that have been conducted in the university field show that there is an association between advanced social skills and social climate in the family, with academic performance (García, 2015) . It follows that skills such as emotional self-regulation have shown an important impact on academic success (Rytkönen, Parpala, Lindblom-Ylänne, Virtanen, & Postareff, 2012). This demonstrates the great importance and responsibility of teachers in applying the appropriate methodological strategies to develop these social competences. Seligman (2013), in his papers, raised three important pillars within Positive Psychology, which were referred to the study of positive emotions, flow states and traits as the positive institutions. Peterson (2016) argued that these pillars are complementary, since those who use these pillars together have greater satisfaction. Subsequently, he added a fourth pillar: positive relationships.
 Supported social skills are influential determinants of people›s well-being, regardless of age and the socio-cultural level to which they belong (Reis & Gable, 2013), so a link between positive relationships and social skills is considered, particularly those that enable mutually satisfying relationships and promote pro-social behaviors of adolescents. To get to understand its meaning and exact importance and its incidence on the educational field of the term social skills as it influences the academic performance, we make a review that starts from (Salter, 1949) used the expression excitatory personality, later Wolpe (2008) would replace it with assertive behavior. Subsequently, it was used as emotional freedom Lazarus (2011), personal effectiveness (Liberman, 2012). As you can see, none uses the term social skills. Nowadays, with certain frequency it is still used as assertive skill, when it comes to defining what a socially skilled behavior is there have been great problems. Numerous definitions have been given, an explicit agreement on what constitutes a socially skilled behavior not having yet been reached. Meichenbaum, Butler, & Grudson (1981) argue that it is impossible to develop a consistent definition of social competence since it is partially dependent on the social context in which it can be applied and is changing.
 The work on social skills in students is of great importance, allowing us to relate them to academic performance, which takes into account that the human being, since birth, is a sociable entity, hence, throughout this piece of research, psychological, social and pedagogical aspects are addressed. The social skill must be considered within a specific socio-cultural framework, and communication patterns vary widely among cultures, depending on factors such as age, sex, social class and education. In addition, the degree of effectiveness of a person will depend on what they want to achieve in the particular situation in which they are developing. The behavior considered appropriate in one situation may be, obviously inappropriate in another. The individual has their own needs, attitudes, values, beliefs, paradigms, educable abilities and their unique style of social interaction, which makes them different from others (Wilkinson & Canter, 2012).

1.2. Academic Performance

Academic performance is defined as the progress made by students according to the planned program objectives, that is, according to the objectives that are planned, how much and how fast the student advances, having the most satisfactory possible results, taking into account that the performance is the usefulness or benefit that the student obtains from all the educational and informal activities that the student faces during school. It should be considered that the academic performance, in addition to the grades obtained, must keep a relationship between the number of approved and postponed subjects and the time it takes for the student to graduate, in such a way that a good weighted average of grades obtained by the student during a certain academic period can be established. Marco, A. (1966), points out that academic performance is of great importance, because it allows us to see the weaknesses of the contents and the scarce study habits that exist within the institutions, taking into account that many students are facing difficulties when faced with a change of teaching and learning methodologies between one place and another. It should be considered that abandoning the studies gradually affects the development of learning in students, since they are facing different challenges, such as the change of methodology and the lack of adaptation, which leads to students with low motivation and low self-confidence, which means that they do not achieve better learning (Reyes, N., 2007).
 Academic performance refers to the evaluation of knowledge acquired in the school, tertiary or university environment. A student with good academic performance is one who obtains positive grades in the exams they must take during a course. In other words, academic performance is a measure of the student›s abilities, which expresses what the student has learned throughout the training process. It also assumes the student›s ability to respond to educational stimuli. In this sense, academic performance is linked to aptitude (Brown Kirschman, Johnson, & Roberts, 2008). Therefore, school academic performance is fundamental in the teaching activity, since it acts as a halo of the quality of an educational system. De Natale (1990) asserts that learning and school performance involve the transformation of a given state into a new state, which is achieved by integrating it into a different unit with cognitive elements and structures that are not initially linked to each other. Academic performance is an indicator of the level of learning achieved by it, therefore, the educational system gives such importance to this indicator.
 The academic performance reflects the result of the different and complex stages of the educational process and, at the same time, one of the goals towards which all the efforts and all the initiatives of the educational authorities, teachers, parents and students converge. It is not about how much matter students have memorized, but how much they have really incorporated into their behavior, manifesting it in their way of feeling, solving problems and making or using learned things. The verification and evaluation of their knowledge and capabilities. The given grades and the evaluation have to be an objective measure about the state of the students’ performances. The educational performance is considered to be the set of transformations occurred in the learner, through the teaching - learning process, which is manifested through the growth and enrichment of the personality in formation (Adell Cueva, 2016). From this point of view, school performance has been considered very unilaterally, that is, only in relation to the intellectual aspect. In summary, performance must refer to the series of behavioral changes expressed as a result of educational action. Therefore, performance is not limited to the territorial domains of memory but transcends and is located in the field of understanding and especially in those in which habits, skills, abilities, etc are implicit (Jaspe, 2010).
 The educational performance synthesizes the action of the educational process, not only in the cognitive aspect achieved by the student, but also in the set of skills, abilities, aptitudes, ideals, interests, etc. With this synthesis are the efforts of society, the teacher and the teaching-learning performance. We consider that a number of factors intervene in educational performance, among them the teacher›s methodology, the individual aspect of the student, family support among others. It is necessary to clarify that the action of the components of the educational process only has a positive effect when the teacher manages to channel them for the fulfillment of the foreseen objectives, here the will of the educated translated into effort is vital, otherwise it is not necessary to speak of performance. At all times, within systematized education, educators have worried about what we know in pedagogy with the name of school achievement or performance, a phenomenon that is closely related to the learning process. The idea of school performance, always and even today, corresponds only to the sum of qualifications resulting from the knowledge test, to which the student is subjected. (Velez, Schiefelbein, & Valenzuela, 2014)


The main objective of this piece of research is to determine the incidence of prosocial behavior on the academic performance of adolescents. The stated objective determines the degree of development of social skills and how they are associated with education. To affirm the stated objective, the following questions were raised: What is the degree of attention to the biopsychosocial units in the academic environments? What factors intervene in learning and academic performance? and How do students relate to their teachers?


This piece of research had a qualitative and quantitative approach, the former because it supports the variables on social skills and academic performance, which is supported bibliographically, to get to have a clear idea about its conceptualization; the latter allows the application of instruments to obtain numerical data, which will be analyzed, tabulated and statistically represented. The documentary bibliographic research served to support the theoretical variables; while the field research was carried out to collect information in the institution, through the application of the surveys and tests to the students of the Educational Units.
The approach to the problem was done in an exploratory way, getting in touch with the little known or unknown problem, to then describe its behavior within the context, and finally the correlation that identified the incidence of one variable on the other. The study of this piece of research was carried out with a population of 360 students aged 12 to 13 years of age from various educational institutions, in addition to an intentional sample. The variables were operationalized, with their respective dimensions, indicators and basic items, which served as the basis for the questionnaire that was conducted.
Subsequently, the information was collected through a survey previously prepared on the basis of the needs of this piece of research; in addition, an evaluation was made with the Social Skills Scale Test collectively with national scales of the general population; the EHS is composed of 33 items, 28 out of which are written in the sense of lack of assertion or deficit in social skills and 5 out of them in the positive sense. These research tools were applied collectively, in two sessions of approximately 35 minutes.
Next, the tabulation of data obtained after the application of instruments to the established population of the Educational Units was developed. In addition, we proceeded to the graphical representation of results, as well as the statistical calculation of Test Z to verify the hypothesis, after the analysis and interpretation of data from this piece of research. And finally, their respective conclusions were established. We worked with a level of reliability of 95%; with a tabulated Z-value of 1.96.
The following hypotheses were raised:

– Ho: Social Skills do not influence Academic Performance
– Hi: Social Skills influence Academic Performance

3.1 Results.

The qualifications were considered in order to demonstrate the relationship with social skills.

Graph 1: Revision of Averages.

Subsequently, Social Skills were evaluated in 4 areas: making requests, expressing anger, defending one’s rights and self-expression in social situations. The skills were evaluated in two groups according to academic performance.

Graph 2: Evaluation of Social Skills .


Graph 3: Gauss bell. Value of Tabulated Z.

We proceeded to apply test Z, where we can Ho: Z ≤ 1.65; with its formula, giving a calculated Z-value of 2,109; in such virtue we can show that, with a level of significance of 5% and with a value of tabulated Z of 1.65; the Null Hypothesis is rejected and the Alternative Hypothesis is accepted, where Social Skills influence Academic Performance.
In addition, it can be argued that, in relation to the questions made to students about the reason for their low grades, they were able to state that it is because they do not have a communication to clear up doubts, 47% state that this is the case. It can be seen that most students have low grades because their doubts are not cleared by the teacher, because they do not ask, which means that there is no assertive communication between students and teachers.
The question asked to teachers about approaching the teacher to clarify their questions, 89% say they do not do it. As noted, most teachers say that students do not ask their classmates or teachers when they have doubts, which means that the confidence of the students does not exist to clear up their concerns.
The results obtained in the compilation of information determine that social skills or social competences have a direct action in the way students behave in the school context. Teachers do not apply active strategies that allow interaction among students as part of the teaching-learning process, so the results of the measurement and evaluation of knowledge does not reflect the learning results that are to be achieved at the beginning of each planned cycle.


From the results obtained it is clear that social relations are misinterpreted as a simple interpersonal relationship, which is not the case, from the presented research, it can be seen that these are the relationships that exist between knowing how to communicate effectively, knowing how to listen to others, knowing how to understand, and knowing how to put oneself in the place of the other, so that personal well-being and optimum climate come together in the daily activities carried out by students inside and outside the classroom. This way, we can coincide with (Brown, Johnson, Bender & Roberts, 2008), who state that, by improving social skills and mental health, students have optimal performance in school activities.
The academic performance is directly proportional to the emotional state of students, taking into account that they should be considered bio-psycho-social entities, so if they do not develop communication skills, they can not perform well in the school context, so there is mistrust, insecurity, emotional imbalances among others, which lead to not developing their educable skills of learning to learn, knowing how to do and knowing how to be, as to ensure comprehensive training with educational quality, which will allow the student to be a successful person in every aspect. The individual has their own needs, attitudes, values, beliefs, paradigms, educable abilities and their unique style of social interaction, which makes them different from others (Wilkinson & Canter, 2012).
Educational institutions do not provide timely and adequate attention to give the necessary importance to the social skills of students, there are no lectures, seminars that are aimed at the actors of the educational process both in the academic area and in the social aspect.
There is a very important indicator on the minimum use made by teachers on the social behavior of students, on the contrary, social interaction is limited, thinking they lose control of their sayers, something absurd, on the contrary, they should be given the opportunity to express themselves freely among their peers, through oral expression and interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, with which we succeed in young people not showing introverted or inactive features, on the contrary, they prepare to be willing to learn within their social context, and, for this, it is necessary for teachers to use all the innovative methodological strategies that lead to achieving this purpose within education. This is consistent with the studies conducted on the existence of an association between advanced social skills and social climate in the family with academic performance (García, 2015).


We conclude that, according to the different positions of authors who have carried out research related to the problem, there are coincidences and differences in the points of view about the development of social competence by students within the educational process, once the conclusions reached by different authors are analyzed, this is revealed in the following paragraphs.
 School competitions in educational institutions are flawed, since there are no activities that allow students to have direct communication between them and teachers. There is lack of confidence, assurance to ask and meet their educational needs and personal concerns, so they prefer to remain in doubt, and not do so, so their behavior is not appropriate in different areas of their training.
 Academic performance only depends on the measurement of students’ knowledge in tests and lessons. Sayers are not considered bio-psycho-social units, in order to, this way, understood that learning does not only depend on the teacher, student and parent, on the contrary, it depends on the whole pedagogical group, it depends on their feelings, emotions, interpersonal relationships, attitudes, but, above all, how they are considered and respected within the school work group.
 Social skills directly affect the level of academic performance of students, taking into account that adolescents, since birth, are social beings and depend on the training they receive since childhood to prove themselves upright in society. In addition, the adolescent, through interaction, creates proposals to solve their problems in the context in which they develop with: innovation, creativity, autonomy and pro-positivity.
 Students do not have the opportunity to develop their communication skills and abilities, to interrelate with others and thus establish ties that allow learning based on interaction with the other classmates and, in general, with the context. It is known that learning and academic performance not only depend on the student, but on all the factors that surround them such as teachers, family and society. Certain skills such as emotional self-regulation have shown to have an important impact on academic success. (Rytkönen, Parpala, Lindblom-Ylänne, Virtanen, & Postareff, 2012)


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