Alcoholism & Addiction

Intervention Efforts May Be Effective in PAE Children

An individual who is exposed to a certain amount of alcohol in the womb can have significant social impairments, according to a recent release in Science Daily. Children with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) are on a path for loneliness unless a successful intervention is possible.

An examination of social-skills intervention called Children’s Friendship Training found that it led to a decrease in hostile attributions or perceptions of children with PAE.

"Children with PAE have a hard time making and keeping friends," explained the study’s corresponding author Vivien Keil, a staff research associate in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA . "More specifically, they tend to have difficulty understanding social cues and common social norms."

"These social problems are due, in part, to the neurological and cognitive deficits known to be associated with prenatal exposure to alcohol," said Joseph M. Price, a research scientist in the Children and Adolescent Services Research Center at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

Price also noted that such social problems could eventually lead to school problems, emotional and behavior problems, early school dropout, delinquency and drug and alcohol use. As a result, children with PAE are likely to benefit from intervention efforts designed to improve their social skills and their relationships with peers and adults.

In the course of this study, researchers found that when children were asked about other children’s intentions during the intervention period, they made fewer hostile attributions after the intervention. In other words, children’s hostile interpretations of peers’ social intentions can be modified by intervention efforts.

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