All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sarah O'Kelley

Advisory Committee Members

Fred Biasini

Kristi Menear

Laura Stoppelbein

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The present study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of the PEERS® social skills intervention for a transdiagnostic group of adolescents with social difficulties, both with and without neurodevelopmental disorders or mental health diagnoses, in the public high school setting. Twenty-four students participated in the study. Adolescents in the intervention group displayed significantly improved social skills knowledge and overall involvement in conversation compared to those in the waitlist control group. Almost half of adolescents in the intervention group displayed improvements in at least one conversational skill domain that were observable to an independent rater blinded to treatment status and time point. Both parents and adolescents rated the intervention acceptable overall. Our findings suggest that the PEERS® intervention may be effective for a variety of adolescents with social skills difficulties. They also highlight the importance of continued research into transdiagnostic social skills interventions for adolescents that facilitate implementation in community-based settings.

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