Social Competence

Lazarus and Folkman (apud Yunes and Szyamanski, 2001, p.30) define stress as “a particular relationship between a person and the environment that is appreciated by them as exceeding their resources, which endangers their well-being” . Its opponent - which can work as a reliever of the negative aspects arising from stress situations - is coping: the set of behavioral and cognitive efforts that the individual employs in order to deal with certain external or internal demands that arise in stressful situations that are assessed as overloading or exceeding personal resources (LAZARUS and FOLKMAN apud PESCE et AL, 2004).

As with stress, coping must be considered at its different levels – psychological, social and neurochemical – each offering different perspectives that complement each other (RUTTER apud Yunes and Szyamanski, 2001, p.31)

Hutz, Koller and Bandeira (apud Yunes and Szyamanski, 2001) call attention to the fact that there are several types of resilience – social, academic, emotional – and that being resilient does not mean being resilient in all its modalities.

Social Competence is an individual characteristic that considers the person's interaction with their family members and people who are significant to them. It is the set of factors that enable the individual to decide ways of interacting with life events, both for problem solving and for self-fulfillment (CECCONELLO apud CECCONELO and KOLLER, 2000, p.74).

The person's success in realizing that behaviors have greater chances of success in a given situation, positive self-esteem and self-efficacy are, for Zigler and Trickett (apud CECCONELO and KOLLER, 2000, p.74) important for the establishment of social competence , and Kliewer and Luthar (CECCONELO and KOLLER, 2000, p.74) complement saying that these behaviors are indicators of the existence of good skills and effective coping strategies.

Kliewer also says that social competence is based on behaviors appropriate to life situations and on efforts to adapt these behaviors to these situations.

Similarly, Del Prette and Del Prette (apud CECCONELO and KOLLER, 2000, p.75) state that social competence is the individual's ability to behave in order to achieve the goals of an interpersonal situation, preserving - with a balance of power and exchanges positive – the relationship with the interlocutor. It also emphasizes that the development of positive characteristics that make up social competence – such as self-esteem and respect for socially established human rights – is important for personal growth.

For Junqueira and Deslandes (Pesce, 2009), resilience can be defined as the subject's ability, in the face of certain circumstances, to deal positively with adversity, not succumbing to it - which does not mean that it is and/or is immune to its effects. – without necessarily eliminating it, however, resignifying it.

Adversity, in turn, is defined by Kaplan (apud Pesce, 2004) as the “combination between the nature, quantity and intensity of risk factors”. Yet this – the risk – cannot be measured and/or defined in an absolute way, since, although in a given situation it can be classified as risky, in another it can be considered a protective factor (Rutter apud Pesce, 2004) .

Vulnerability is understood as the individual predisposition to the development of different forms of psychopathologies and/or ineffective behaviors, or even the susceptibility to a negative developmental outcome (Pesce, 2004). It is often used – erroneously – as a synonym for risk.

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