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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 52-56

Efficacy of social stories in coping with bullying among children with childhood psychiatry conditions: A randomized controlled interventional study

1 KMCH College of Occupational Therapy, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Kovai Medical Center and Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Asst. Prof. S Sakthi Srija
Kalapatti Main Road, Phase II, Balaji Nagar, Coimbatore - 641 048, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_10_19

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Background: In schools, bullying is a regular occurring behavior problem and the most common form of violence. As stated in studies, bullying peaks during middle school years and higher rates of being bullied are reported in children with special educational needs and disabilities. Social story, as a teaching intervention, helps in preparing the children to respond appropriately to a bullying situation and to develop adaptive coping responses. Objectives: The objective of this study is to identify the victims of bullying among childhood psychiatry conditions, to develop coping skills for them, and to determine the effectiveness of social stories. Study Design: A randomized controlled interventional study was chosen for the research. Methods: Children were screened using Illinois Bully Victim Scale, and 22 children, of both genders, aged 8–13 years diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, learning disability, and mild intellectual disability were randomly assigned to two study groups. Coping strategies were taught to the children in the experimental group with the help of social stories, for two target behaviors, and role play at end for 30 min, 3 days a week, for 13 sessions, whereas in the control group, children underwent conventional occupational therapy along with coping strategies and role play for 30 min for 13 sessions. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure and the Coping with Bullying Scale for Children were administered before and after intervention. Results: Both experimental (n = 12) and control (n = 10) groups equally improved with their respective intervention. However, children achieved clinically significant scores in their mean values (68.42 ± 61.50,P < 0.02, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.00–0.12) in the level of performance, suggesting that they used more of adaptive responses in coping with bullying situation. Typically, children in both the groups showed some amount of maladaptive strategies even after their respective interventions (8.03 ± 6.2,P = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.00–0.13), referring that social story was found to have an impact only on adaptive coping responses. This warrants the importance of addressing the awareness of adverse consequences of maladaptive coping through social stories. Conclusion: Social stories were effective in improving coping skills as well as in enabling the strategies application of learned coping skills (performance) during bullying situation.

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