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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19227

Title: Enhancing Social Competence through a Group Intervention Program for Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumours
Authors: Schulte, Fiona
Advisor: Barrera, Maru
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: pediatric brain tumours
social competence
Issue Date: 2-Mar-2010
Abstract: Purpose: To examine the social competence of childhood brain tumour survivors in the context of a group social skills intervention program developed to address documented social deficits among this population and to expand outcomes obtained from a feasibility study, by: conceptualizing social competence as three separate but interrelated constructs including social adjustment, social performance, and social skills; incorporating a control group; eliciting teacher responses; and examining sense of self. Methods: Participants were 23 survivors (10 males; 13 females) aged 7 to 15 years and comprised an intervention (n=15) and control group (n=8). The intervention consisted of 8 2-hour weekly sessions focused on social skills including friendship making. At the level of social adjustment, intervention participants, controls, parents, and teachers (n=6) completed standardized measures of social adjustment including: social skills (SSRS, Gresham & Elliott, 1990); social functioning (Varni, 1999); and social problems (Achenbach, 2001). At the level of social performance, behavioural observations were conducted on intervention participants. At the level of social skills, intervention participants responded to the Social Problem-Solving Measure (SPSM; Vannatta, 1993). Survivors also completed standardized sense of self measures. Results: Outcomes related to social adjustment showed a significant increase from Time 1 to Time 2 for parent reported SSRS within and between groups. Significant improvements were also found for parent reported social problems between groups. Child reported social problems decreased within groups and a borderline effect was found between groups. Teachers reported improved SSRS scores form Time 1 to Time 2. For social performance, significant increases in frequency were found for maintaining facial attention and social conversations with peers over the course of the intervention. At the level of social skills, a borderline significant increase was found for quantity of strategies offered from Time 1 to Time 2. No significant findings were found for sense of self data. Conclusions: Improvements after intervention were noted at each level of social competence, but primarily at the level of social adjustment. Control group and teacher outcomes strengthen findings. This is the first study to explore varying levels of social competence and provides important insight into the source of survivors’ social deficits.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19227
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology - Doctoral theses

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