Interpersonal Competence Development of University Students -Exploring a Social Problem-Solving Measurement Approach
Hermann Astleitner, Claudia Ortner

Interpersonal competence is currently regarded as an important aim in higher education. Nevertheless, traditional measurements looking at interpersonal competence have been based on self-ratings which do not cover recent developments in assessment methods. With these advancements, interpersonal competence is conceptualized as an integrative-holistic, problem-solving-based, and developmental-model-related skill. Following these principles, a theoretical model of interpersonal competence development was used in this study to develop a problem-solving measurement such as a questionnaire. The measurement consisted of social problem-solving tasks related to five interpersonal competence levels concerning awareness, acceptance, care, trust, and love. In addition to each of the competence levels, three stimulating learning conditions were also postulated and measured. The questionnaire was presented to a sample of 168 university students from different social research study programs. On the one hand, results showed acceptable indications of the reliability and validity of the interpersonal competence measurement. On the other hand, it was not possible to find conclusive and supporting evidence concerning sources and mechanisms of interpersonal competence development. The implications of this for future studies on interpersonal competence are that the differences between self-ratingand problem-solving-based measurements as well as the social goals and related strategies of university students should be considered.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v6n2a7