Category: Treatment - Other
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders | Social Skills Training | Psychophysiology
Presentation Type: Symposium
Group-based social skills interventions (GSSIs) are the most widely-used treatment approach for social deficits among youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but are highly susceptible to nonspecific treatment confounds (e.g., exposure to peers, time spent in group; Gates et al., 2017). Thus, a randomized controlled trial using an Attention Control (AC) design (Chambless & Hollon, 2008) is needed to determine intervention specificity, yet none has been conducted in GSSIs for ASD youth. Socio-Dramatic Affective-Relational Intervention (SDARI; Lerner et al., 2011) is a GSSI that has shown effects across multiple studies (see McMahon et al., 2013); however, like most GSSI studies, most outcomes were based on parent- or self-report. It is not clear whether less subjective outcomes, such as peer-reported sociometric status and neural biomarkers of ASD-related deficits (EEG-indexed N170 event-related potentials [ERP] related to face processing; McPartland et al., 2011), can be affected by GSSIs. To allow for identification of such effects specific to SDARI, this study utilized the randomized AC design.
39 youth (Mage=12.39, SDage=2.99; 30 male) with IQ≥70 and ASD diagnoses were randomly assigned to 10-week SDARI or the AC condition. At pre- and post-test, a sociometric interview (Coie et al., 1982) was administered assessing friendship, liking/disliking, and desire to play again regarding the peers within their group. The N170 ERP component was extracted from an emotional faces task.
ANCOVA-of-change revealed that the SDARI group showed greater improvements in sociometrics (peers disliked each other less [B=-.28, p<.001] and showed a greater desire to play with each other again [B=.49, p=.001]) and evidenced accelerated N170 latency (B=-13.86, p=.04), relative to the AC group.
Stony Brook University
Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
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