Get access

Impact of a Social Skills Intervention on the Hostile Attributions of Children With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure


Reprint requests: Vivien Keil, PhD, 13 Orchard Street, Suite 103, Lake Forest, CA 92630; Fax: 949-837-0274; E-mail:


Background:  Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) has been linked to a wide array of developmental deficits, including significant impairments in social skills. Given the extensive body of evidence linking social information-processing patterns with social behavior, it is possible that social information-processing may represent one mechanism of behavioral change. The present investigation sought to answer the question of whether a well-established social skills intervention decreased the hostile attributions of children with PAE. Further, was there a differential impact of the intervention on hostile attributions in the context of peer provocation versus group entry scenarios?

Methods:  Participants consisted of 100 children (51% male) with PAE between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Participants were randomly assigned to either a social skills intervention, Children’s Friendship Training (CFT), or to a Delayed Treatment Control (DTC) condition.

Results:  Analyses indicated that the social skills intervention resulted in a significantly lower proportion of hostile attributions in peer group entry, but not peer provocation, scenarios. This decrease was maintained over a 3-month follow-up period.

Conclusions:  Deficits in social information-processing among individuals with PAE can be improved through social skills intervention, and these changes may lead to more positive developmental outcomes.

Get access to the full text of this article