Authors: Godfrey J, Pring T, Gascoigne M
Title: Developing Children’s Conversational Skills in Mainstream Schools: An Evaluation of Group Therapy
Source: Child Language Teaching and Therapy 2005 21(3): 251-262
Year: 2005
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 06/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Children from two mainstream schools who had poor communication skills were selected to take part in this study. Following formal and informal assessments of their language and pragmatic skills, they were randomly assigned to treatment and no treatment groups. Treatment consisted of attending eight weekly sessions of a social skills training group. Assessments carried out four to six months after training showed that treated children had improved their pragmatic knowledge significantly more than untreated children. However, caution is required in generalizing these results to other children. The children in this study had a variety of difficulties and it appeared that those whose communication skills were primarily the result of underlying language problems made the least progress. Further research is warranted with more homogeneous groups of children to establish which children gain the most from this approach.

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