Social maturity in children and youth autistic spectrum disorder and those with intellectual disability

Social maturity is defi ned and assessed through the adaptive behavior domains of communication, daily living skills, socialization and maladaptive behaviors, which consist of social-emotional, cognitive, and behavioral skills needed for successful coping in social situations. The aim of the study was to assess social maturity defi ned through adaptive behaviors in the samples of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders and those with intellectual disability without autism spectrum disorders (N=98, aged 7-21, both male and female, from the Center for Autism in Zagreb). Adaptive behavior developmental level was assessed on the Vineland- II Social Maturity Scale. Statistically signifi cant diff erences in the space of adaptive behavior as an indicator of social maturity between the tested samples were obtained. Participants with autistic spectrum disorders had lower adaptive behavior levels and exhibited more maladaptive behaviors than participants with intellectual disability. This study proved the structure of social maturity and adaptive skills between children and youth with autistic spectrum disorders and those with intellectual disability to be signifi cantly diff erent. The data obtained also indicate that the lower adaptive behavior level, as well as maladaptive behavior poses a greater risk of mental health problems and as such they can be used for prevention concerning the choice and application of educational and rehabilitation support programs. It contributes to better quality of life of such children and their families.

Keywords: adaptation, psychological; autistic disorder; intellectual disability; child; adolescent
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 58, No 2, april - june 2014
Authors: Dragana Mamić, Rea Fulgosi-Masnjak, Ivana Sladić Kljajić
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2014;58:81-87

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