Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Michael Curtis, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Kathy Bradley-Klug, Ph.D.

Keywords

Social problems, Social competence, Intervention, Peer interactions, Direct observations

Abstract

A diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is given when a child exhibits developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. In addition to academic and behavior problems, these children often have significant social problems. Since social problems are associated with a greater risk for developing problems later in life, a number of interventions have been attempted to normalize the social interactions of children with ADHD. These have included stimulant medication, cognitive-behavioral interventions, behavior modification, and social skills training. Additionally, attempts have been made to maximize the benefits of these interventions by combining them. Typically this involves combining stimulant medication with one of the other non-pharmacological interventions. Unfortunately, no one intervention or combination of interventions has stood out as the clear choice for improving the social problems of children with ADHD.

Therefore, more research is needed to clarify this issue.Social skills training is often used in clinical and school settings for children with ADHD who experience social problems, despite the apparent lack of empirical evidence for its effectiveness. Social skills training programs frequently report success, but the evidence for success is taken only from anecdotal reports by parents and teachers. The purpose of this study was to document the effectiveness of a social skills training program for children with ADHD. A social skills intervention program was implemented for four children with ADHD. Eight weekly sessions focused on six targeted social skills. All four children were administered their prescribed stimulant medication for the duration of the training.

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