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Title: The assessment of social skill of schizophrenics in remission
Author: Wilkinson, Jill Diane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3568 4308
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1985
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This study is concerned with the assessment of social skill in a remitted schizophrenic sample. It is conducted from the perspective of the social skills model proposed by Argyle and Kendon (1967) expanded in this study. Social impairment can be seen, according to this model, as the result of a breakdown at any part of the social skills cycle. Other workers have conceptualized social skill deficits as the result of anxiety, a limited behavioural repertoire, or faulty cognitive functioning. The advantage of the social skills model is that it provides an explanation of the process of normal social behaviour rather than an explanation solely of impairment (Chapter 1). Severe social impairment may precede, accompany or follow schizophrenic episodes. Much of the theoretical and empirical work on schizophrenia is relevant to the study of the social behaviour of the schizophrenic although few studies have been directly concerned with social skill. Examination of the literature shows that schizophrenics may experience difficulty at every stage of the social skills cycle as a result of factors either associated with the pathology of the disorder, or to the social environment of the schizophrenic {Chapter 2). Social skills assessment has mainly been concerned with assessment of the behavioural response although some procedures have been devised to assess the cognitive aspects of social skill suggested by the social skills model (Chapter 3). This study draws on, and develops tests devised by other researchers in the field and also includes procedures designed specifically for this study. It employs a cross-sectional design to test the hypotheses that there will be differences between schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics in their verbal and non-verbal behaviour, self-cognitions, goals, perception and general social functioning. The subjects were 23 male remitted schizophrenics matched with non-psychiatric controls (Chapter 4). It was found that schizophrenics had very similar goals to the controls, their self-cognitions were extremely negative (although reasonably accurate) and they had difficulty with more complex aspects of social perception. Their patterns of behavioural response were similar to non-schizophrenics although they talked less, made fewer gestures and looked less at their interpersonal partners. They showed little evidence of lack of responsiveness in conversation, although they were generally poor at conversation handovers (Chapters 5 and 6). This study increases our knowledge of the social behaviour of schizophrenics in remission and provides potentially useful information for the design of treatment programmes for this clinical population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology