A trial of a procedure for the assessment of social problem-solving skills (the Social Problem-Solving Test; SPST), designed to assess 18 component skills distributed across five domains of functioning, is reported. A group of 48 persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) observed seven videotaped scenarios involving a complex social interaction between two people. They were first questioned about their interpretation of the event, and how the actors should respond, and then asked to complete a role-play in which they were required to implement a strategy to reach a specified goal. Their performance on each of the components was compared with the results from 20 aged-matched family controls. The TBI participants were most impaired in their ability to perform in a socially skilled manner in the role-play and evaluate this performance, and their orientation towards resolving the problem was characterised by greater anxiety and evaluation of difficulty. The results support the usefulness of procedures designed to identify the specific deficits in social problem solving of persons in post-acute rehabilitation.
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