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January 2022

Assessment of social-cognitive processes in children with mental retardation

Author(s): Siperstein, G. N.

Journal/Book: Amer J Ment Retard. 1996; 100: 444 N Capitol St, NW, Ste 846, Washington, DC 20001-1512. Amer Assn Mental Retardation. 441-455.

Abstract: The nature of social competence of 55 children with mental retardation was explored. Four social-cognitive processes (encoding, cue interpretation, strategy generation, and evaluation of consequences) and their link to social behavior were investigated. During a structured interview, the children responded to videotaped vignettes of social conflict situations involving peer group entry and peer provocation. Although the children were consistently accurate in interpreting hostile intentions, they exhibited difficulty in accurately interpreting benign intentions. Children generated different strategies for the peer entry and peer provocation conflicts. Children who experienced social-cognitive processing difficulties were more likely to display extreme patterns of behavior. Aggressive children frequently misinterpreted benign intention cues and generated aggressive strategies, whereas those who engaged in sensitive/isolated behavior frequently generated avoidant or appeal to authority strategies. Results suggest that assessment and intervention practices in the area of social competence need to address social-cognitive processes.

Note: Article JS Leffert, Univ Massachusetts, Ctr Social Dev & Educ, Boston, MA 02125 USA

Keyword(s): NONRETARDED-CHILDREN; SKILLS; COMPETENCE; STRATEGIES; MODEL; DISABILITIES; EMPLOYMENT; AGGRESSION; CONSTRUCT; STUDENTS


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