The acquisition of competence in social and community living skills
: studies on the relationship between acquisition competence and social and emotional adjustment: the issue of maintenance; and methods of training

  • Amanda Michie

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Previous work in the area of community living skills has shown that people with a mental handicap can learn individual community living skills. However, it is clear that subjects require a range of skills to function successfully in the community and no study has attempted to train a comprehensive series of skills for community living. This study investigates training such a comprehensive series of social and community living skills to people with a mental handicap. These were: conversation skills; social interaction skills; assertion skills; dealing with authority figures; pedestrian skills; public transport skills; leisure skills; and shopping skills. The training programme lasted two years. Two methods of training were compared, 29 subjects comprised the Experimental Group who received in vivo role play, modelling, coaching and behaviour rehearsal. This was compared against a group of 13 subjects receiving classroom based teaching involving video tape presentations, slides and discussion. A No-Treatment Control Group of 15 subjects was also employed.

    Two main categories of assessment were employed. Firstly, general functioning was assessed using the ABS Adaptive Behaviour Scale, the Goldberg General Health Questionnaire and the Zung Anxiety and Depression Scales. Secondly, subject performance in all skills was assessed at baseline, post-training, three months, one year and two years follow-up. Subjects were assessed by independent raters on scales relevant to each skill area. The results on the assessment of general functioning suggested some increases in independent functioning for the Experimental Group. There were also some increases in generalised anxiety for this Group. The results on skill acquisition suggest substantial, significant improvements in the Group trained using in vivo methods. There were only a few modest improvements in the Teaching Group and no change in the No-Treatment Control Group. Results are discussed in terms of, generalisibility to other populations, predictors of success, generalisation, maintenance of skills, social validation, and integration and planning of community living skills. It was also noted that eventual placement to other settings in the community was more successful for the Experimental Group. 
    Date of AwardNov 1993
    Original languageEnglish

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