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New York, New York 10065


Purpose:

Several independent evaluations have supported the effectiveness of the Secret Agent Society (SAS) Program in improving the social-emotional functioning of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in clinic- (Beaumont & Sofronoff, 2008; Tan, Mazzucchelli & Beaumont, submitted), school-(Beaumont, Rotolone & Sofronoff, in press; Einfeld et al., submitted) and remote Skype/telephone-assisted delivery contexts (Sofronoff, Silva & Beaumont, in press).The present study aims to extend on the above literature by conducting a 6-month randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness, utility and acceptability (including cultural acceptability) of the Secret Agent Society (SAS) social-emotional skills training program. Specifically, the study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the SAS Program for 8-12 year-old children with social difficulties in the context of a range of diagnosed mental health conditions and/or developmental disorders, including anxiety disorders, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Study summary:

Several independent evaluations have supported the effectiveness of the Secret Agent Society (SAS) Program in improving the social-emotional functioning of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in clinic, school and remote Skype/telephone-assisted delivery contexts. Results from a pilot University clinic evaluation of the program for children with social-emotional difficulties but without ASD has also yielded positive findings, showing comparable treatment effects to those achieved for children with ASD in terms of improved social-emotional functioning. Within the USA, results from a two-year Buffalo School District implementation project and delivery of the program through USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD Children's Hospital Los Angeles) have provided further support for the effectiveness and cross-cultural appropriateness of the intervention with children who have a range of mental health challenges. The present study aims to extend on the above literature by conducting a 6-month randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness, utility and acceptability (including cultural acceptability) of the Secret Agent Society (SAS) social-emotional skills training program. Specifically, the study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the SAS Program for 8-12 year-old children with social difficulties in the context of a range of diagnosed mental health conditions and/or developmental disorders, including anxiety disorders, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Outcome variables will include measures of child social functioning and mental health outcomes related to their primary diagnoses (e.g. anxiety, disruptive behaviour, etc).


Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: - Children are required to be aged between 8 and 12 years at the time of study entry. - Children must have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder and whose parents report that they experience social difficulties/are socially excluded by peers. Participants are not eligible to participate in the study if they do not meet any of the listed diagnoses. - Children must have an IQ of 85 or above (as formally assessed within the past 2 years, or as assessed at the time of study entry by WIAT III Verbal Subtest). - Children are required to have significant social difficulties as reported by their parents and/or teacher (although they are not required to score within the clinical range on the Spence Social Skills Questionnaire to be included in the study). - Children and parents must be fluent in English (preferably their first language). Exclusion Criteria: - Failure to meet one or more of the Inclusion Criteria listed above. - Parents indicate at intake that they are unwilling or unable to attend the parent training sessions and to support their child in completing between-session skills practice tasks ('home missions'). - Children who present with extreme levels of anxiety and anger (as determined from intake interviews and questionnaires), and as such, group therapy would be contraindicated at that time (would cause extreme distress to a child and/or s/he would be a physical safety risk to other child group members).


NCT ID:

NCT02574273


Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Shannon Bennett, PhD
Weill Medical College of Cornell University


Backup Contact:

N/A


Location Contact:

New York, New York 10065
United States



There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A


Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: November 18, 2019

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