The Influence of Mindfulness Training on Social Functioning in Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders




Baker, Lesley

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It is well documented that children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) experience difficulties in several domains of social functioning. Despite this evidence, there are very few interventions that target underlying components of social behaviour. The current study aimed to add to this literature by implementing a mindfulness-based training program for adolescents with FASD. The goals of the study were to analyze the influence of mindfulness training on several aspects of social functioning including perspective taking, emotion regulation, and social problem solving. The study used a pre-post-test design that included 10 children with FASD (ages 12- to17-years). Participants were assessed using experimental measures of social cognition at baseline and 8-week follow-up. In addition, caregivers completed measures that assessed children’s emotionality and social skills at both time points. Analyses revealed that mindfulness training may be effective for improving perspective taking skills in children with FASD. No significant treatment effects were observed for emotion regulation, social skills or social problem solving. Overall, results from this study suggest that mindfulness training is a feasible intervention for children with FASD.



FASD, Social Functioning, Mindfulness