University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Group Therapy Outcomes: Social Skills Training for Adults with Mental Illness




Russo, Amanda

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BACKGROUND: Group therapy is an effective method of treating people with various mental illnesses. Social skills training is often used in a group therapy setting to improve the social functioning of people with mental illness, many of whom have social skills deficits. Currently, there is very little literature on how social skills training reduces symptomology, most of which is limited to children or adolescents and people with autism spectrum disorders. The current study looks to determine what, if any, effect social skills training has on alleviating depression and anxiety symptoms in a mixed mental illness sample. SUBJECTS: 23 subjects were recruited from the University Rehabilitative Services to take part in the study. There were 11 males and 12 females divided into two treatment groups named Connections (CG) and Personal and Social Adjustment Treatment (PSATG). METHOD: A one-way paired samples t-test was used to determine improvement between pre and post BDI-II and BAI scores. RESULTS: BDI-II scores were significantly lowered, indicating improvement in depression symptoms. BAI scores were not statistically significant. DISCUSSION: Social skills training does alleviate depression symptoms in an adult mixed mental illness sample. Future studies need to focus on improving anxiety symptoms as well.

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