According to Gerk and Cunha (2006), universities little prepare the individual for the changes that occur after high school, as they offer weak investments in pedagogical practices and do not offer programs that favor the psychosocial adaptation of students. These institutions assume that students, when entering universities, are already completely ready for this new stage of life and that they feel safe and certain in the new environment, however this phase is a time of great challenges and conflicts due to the difficulties related to the demands of academic activities, interpersonal and social relationships, to the identity and vocational development of young people (Almeida, 1998; Gerk & Cunha, 2006). On the other hand, during graduation, it seems that the university is investing more in preparing young university students for leaving college and entering the world of work, encouraging the acquisition of skills through junior companies, extension projects and continuing education programs ( Del Prette & Del Prette, 2003). Murakami, Murray, Sims and Chedzey (2009) have a divergent opinion when stating that communication has been increasingly demanded in the job market and that the university needs to be concerned with its promotion, which is not always the case.
Several studies attest that academic experiences, when they do not guarantee the university student a good quality of life, become stressful experiences, which can both influence academic performance and facilitate the appearance of depressive conditions (Backer, 2003; Ciarrochi, Deane, & Anderson, 2002; Cole, Lazarick, & Howard, 1986; Furtado et. Al., 2003), in addition to the tendency to drop out of school (McGaha & Fitzpatrick, 2005).
The concern with the entrance of these students in the interface with the Social Skills Training is important, since studies show that deficits in social skills compromise the healthy development of individuals, which may increase the probability of juvenile delinquency, school maladjustment, suicide, marital problems, stress , depression and schizophrenia (Del Prette & Del Prette, 2002). Thus, obtaining reinforcers is important, as it maximizes gains and minimizes losses for oneself and for people who participate in the social environment (Bolsoni-Silva, 2002; Del Prette, 1999). Therefore, punitive environments can bring social damage to students. Punishing or reinforcing events are considered consequences of behavior (Baum, 1999 p. 76), while others are called punishing, as they tend to “punish the behavior that produces them” (Baum, 1999, p. 77).
The definition of social skills is determined from different points of view (Del Prette & Del Prette, 1999) and can be studied from different approaches. For this article, Behavior Analysis was chosen (Bolsoni-Silva, 2002), which defines social skill as an operating behavior that maximizes the achievement of positive and negative reinforcers. The absence of a general theory or conceptual system that is capable of integrating the different models associated with assessment and intervention studies makes the definition of social skills more complex to elaborate (Del Prette, Del Prette, & Barreto, 1999) . We agree with the concept of social skills defined by Del Prette and Del Prette (1999).