Authors: Schohl KA, Van Hecke AV, Meyer Carson A, Dolan B, Karst J, Stevens S
Title: A Replication and Extension of the PEERS Intervention: Examining Effects on Social Skills and Social Anxiety in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2014 44(3): 532-545
Year: 2014
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 05/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

This study aimed to evaluate the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS: Laugeson et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 39(4):596-606, 2009). PEERS focuses on improving friendship quality and social skills among adolescents with higher-functioning ASD. 58 participants aged 11-16 years-old were randomly assigned to either an immediate treatment or waitlist comparison group. Results revealed, in comparison to the waitlist group, that the experimental treatment group significantly improved their knowledge of PEERS concepts and friendship skills, increased in their amount of get-togethers, and decreased in their levels of social anxiety, core autistic symptoms, and problem behaviors from pre-to post-PEERS. This study provides the first independent replication and extension of the empirically-supported PEERS social skills intervention for adolescents with ASD.

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