Vineland Social Maturity Scale


To assess the level of social maturity of the subject using Vineland Social Maturity Scale.


As Gardner put it, social intelligence (labeled interpersonal intelligence) is the ability to distinguish among other people’s moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions.  

Goleman (2006) defined social intelligence as being intelligent in our relationships as well as about them”. He includes in his definition the capacity to be socially aware both in terms of primitive empathy, attunement, empathetic accuracy, and social cognition as well as the ability to develop social skill (containing aspects of synchrony, self-preservation, influence, and concern).  

Bieman (2004) defined social competence as a capability of coordinating adaptive responses to different interpersonal demands and arranging social behavior in a way that is both beneficial to oneself and aligned with moral conventions.  

Social maturity pertains to one’s ability to recognize the nature of the social world in which they live. There are various ways to define and describe social maturity for children based on their age. The socialization process occurs within every culture in which the individual moves from the uncultured and unskilled state to a state of interpersonal affiliation and harmony as part of his society. Thus, social maturity is measured by the degree to which a child has attained significant social behavior for their age. You can assess social maturity by observing how that maturity is demonstrated in the child. There are several forms of social deficits that affect persons with intellectual disabilities, leading to increased rates of isolation, stigmatization, inadequate coping skills, and maladaptive behaviors.  

Theories Related to Social Development

Erickson (1950) stressed that interpersonal relationships are crucial to helping people resolve problems caused by conflicts. He outlined eight stages of psychosocial development in accordance with his principles. When either of these stages is not implemented, children are at risk for not being able to act on their own and/or developing a sense of inferiority, unproductiveness, and feeling incompetent with regard to their peers, social roles, and abilities.  

Vygotsky (1978), a well-known theorist in the field of social development and education, argued that cognitive functions are connected to the social world (or environment). According to him, a child is an apprentice guided by adults and more capable peers into the social arena. Within the zone of proximal development (ZPD), Vygotsky explained that children learn in a systematic and logical manner due to dialogue and interaction with a skilled helper. Those activities that fall within the lower boundary of the ZPD can be done by the learner without the assistance of a tutor or teacher. The ZPD’s upper limit is a learning outcome the learner is not capable of achieving even with the assistance of an expert teacher or mentor.  

The second concept of Vygotsky’s (1978) guiding learning is scaffolding, which the teacher applies to change levels of assistance given to the learner as the learner’s learning needs change. In scaffolding, instructors are involved in every step during the early stages of learning. If the teacher observes that a child is demonstrating partial mastery of the task or skill, the teacher provides increasingly less support, until eventually, the child can demonstrate independent mastery. It is important to describe both of these constructs when describing the development of social competence in a child.  

Based on Bandura’s theories of social learning and social cognition, three categories of factors contribute to social competence: 1) behaviors observed in one’s home or culture, 2) cognitive factors such as the student’s expectations of success, and 3) social factors including classroom and school climate. The reciprocal determinism model of Bandura stated that these three factors are synchronously related. This means that each factor influences the other equally and that changes in one factor are likely to result in changes in the others. During the classroom, for example, children’s perceptions of themselves and their capacities (self-efficacy) can affect their social behavior, which then impacts the classroom environment. The effects of a change in competence in the classroom will have an impact on self-efficacy as well. This reciprocal view of the construction of self-views is supported by many researchers.  

Description of the test:

In 1935 Vineland Social Maturity Scale (VSMS): In 1935 was developed by E. A. Doll and was later adapted by Dr. J. Bharath Raj and since then been used in many parts of the country. In addition to providing measures of social age (SA) and social quotient (SQ), this scale also identifies a child’s social deficits as well as social assets. The scale is intended for children between the ages of 0 and 15. This measurement is also an excellent tool for identifying mental retardation as well as superior intelligence. There are 89 items on the test, measuring 8 different aspects of social maturity:  

  • Communication skills (COM)
  • General self-help ability (SHG)
  • Locomotion skills (LOC)
  • Occupation skills (OCC)
  • Self-direction (SD)
  • Self-help eating (SHE)
  • Self-help dressing (SHD)
  • Socialization skills (SOC)

Parents along with the children are required to respond, which ensures that the responses are marked accurately since parents are usually assumed to recall their child’s development accurately. Typically, the mother is asked for answers. The child sits next to her and gives clear or correct answers when the parent fails to do so. In addition, the scale provides a measure of the social quotient as well as a maturity age level for each domain, which improves the capability of identifying developmental lags and subsequent training.  

VSMS is an excellent clinical technique despite its limitations, and it includes a variety of questionnaires and psychometrics. It is an excellent tool to measure a person’s adaptive behavior. Children and special education students can be assessed on their personal and social strengths and weaknesses with this assessment. Counselors, psychologists, and teachers are recommended to use the profile.  



  • Name- NR
  • Age- 5
  • Gender- Female
  • Education- 1st Grade
  • Time- 10: 15 am
  • Date- December 24, 2020


Vineland Social Maturity Scale (VSMS) 


The experiment started with rapport formation wherein the subject was made comfortable. The subject being a child was accompanied by his mother. The subject’s mother was explained about the scale, its purpose, and was seated around to make the subject feel at comfort. For certain items on the scale, direct questions were asked to check if the specific characteristic was present. For many others, judgment was made by observing the subject.

For each characteristic that was present, the subject was given a score of 1. For characteristics that seemed to have emerged but are not open to being tested in the clinical situation, a score of 0.5 was allotted. After scoring all the characteristics, the total raw score was calculated by summing up all the scores. This raw score was then converted to social age using the table in the manual. This was then used to find out the social quotient using the formula—

S.Q = (social age/ actual age) x 100

The social quotient derived from this formula was then interpreted.


The subject scored a total of 57, which converts to a social age of 5.2, finally converting to a social quotient of 104, thus indicating no signs of mental retardation.

Total Raw Score57
Social Age5.2


The subject’s social quotient is 104, which falls between the average range of social quotient, which is 90 to 109. This means the subject has a social quotient that is appropriate for his age. The subject has been observed to characterize a majority of social attributes and milestones as per his age. The only observations indicating ambiguity or the lack of clear presence of certain attributes are that the subject may or may not go about the neighborhood unattended and the subject may not be able to dress on his own. However, these observations only have a negligible effect on the social quotient of the subject. Thus, this indicates no mental retardation.

Share with others

3 thoughts on “Vineland Social Maturity Scale

  • February 1, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Good article. I definitely love this site. Keep it up!

  • August 29, 2022 at 11:54 am

    I have a doubt.
    How do we score the item which was once achieved but the child stopped performing later?

    • January 27, 2023 at 11:33 pm

      So, we stop taking the scores after 3 continuous NO and give a score of 0 to such statements while calculating the rest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *