Effects of the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills Intervention on Adolescents' Social Functioning
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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he Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS; Laugeson, Frankel, Gantman, Dillon, & Mogil, 2012) is a manualized parent-assisted social-skills intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Experiment 1 used behavioral performance data to assess the effectiveness of PEERS at improving social skills (reciprocal conversations, humor, and entering and exiting conversations). Following PEERS didactics, one participant engaged in high levels of correct responding for reciprocal conversations, five participants for humor, and three participants for entering and exiting conversations. Modified behavior skills training (BST) increased levels of correct performance for one participant in reciprocal conversations, five participants for humor, and one participant for entering and exiting conversations. Experiment 2 evaluated caregiver acquisition of feedback-delivery skills following PEERS and modified BST. Overall, all participants engaged in low levels of accurate feedback delivery following PEERS. Levels of correct feedback delivery increased following modified BST; however, the degree to which skills improved differed across participants and skills. Experiment 3 assessed BST and in-situ training on caregiver feedback-delivery skills and measured the effects of training caregivers on adolescents’ social-skill acquisition. In-situ training was required to teach one caregiver to provide accurate feedback for two-way conversations. BST increased feedback-delivery skills on the other social skills. In general, adolescents’ social skills improved with improvements to the caregivers’ feedback-delivery skills.