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Conflict, social communication deficits and behavioural inflexibility in primary school children


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Beaumont, SA 2009 , 'Conflict, social communication deficits and behavioural inflexibility in primary school children', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Literature review
The problem of disruptive behaviour displayed by primary school children has been an
issue in schools for over the last three decades, but has recently resurfaced again as a
major social concern. As public concern has risen, so have expectations that this problem
area should be managed more effectively by school staff. This review will explore, within
a school context, the link between disruptive externalized behaviours and social
communication deficits, which are regarded as a key antecedent to disruptive externalized
behaviours. In particular, the origins of social communication deficits, displayed by non
pathological primary school children, will be explored in order to understand the types of
interventions that may be effective for these children. A review of evidence-based social
skills training programs and their related successful outcomes will be explored and this
will be followed by an analysis of gaps in the research in order to determine future
research areas.

Empirical report
Previous research has focused on the close association between poor social
communication skills and behavioural difficulties. However, little attempt has so far been
made to examine this relationship in primary school aged children who live in
socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. In particular there is limited research on
the impact of universally presented social communication skills interventions on this
group of children. This study explores the notion that children who live in
socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and who display disruptive behaviours in
school need specially designed social skills intervention programs to meet their specific
requirements. Further, this study explores the hypothesis that a universal school-based,
teacher-delivered social communication skills intervention, not requiring parental
support, will decrease levels of problematic behaviour. Results showed a non-significant
decrease in children's levels of problematic behaviours in the Playground environment,
but showed a significant reduction in their levels of problematic behaviour in a classroom
environment. Gender and school levels appear to have a moderating effect on outcomes.
This study concluded that in the short term at least, the type of intervention carried out
may have had some beneficial effect for the participants, but this was not sustained over a
longer time period. Implications for the use of specific interventions to this population
and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Beaumont, SA
Keywords: Oppositional defiant disorder in children, Conduct disorders in children, Behaviour disorders in children, Social skills in children, Social skills
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2009 the author

Additional Information:

Thesis (MPsych(Clin))--University of Tasmania, 2010. Includes bibliographical references

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