Mixed methods approach to describe social interaction during a group intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

Carlota Alcover, Ma Ángeles Mairena, Marcela Mezzatesta, Neus Elias, María Díez-Juan, Gemma Balañá, Mireia González-Rodríguez, Jairo Rodríguez-Medina, M. Teresa Anguera, Eulàlia Arias-Pujol

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Over the last 20 years, researchers have been mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches, but mixed methods research represents a new movement that arose in response to the currents of qualitative and quantitative research, considered separately. Little has been published on the use of polar coordinate analysis in psychotherapy. This type of analysis can provide detailed information and integrate the qualitative-quantitative analysis. Even less has been published on the analysis of ASD children's behavior. The main aim of this study was to implement this mixed methods methodology to analyze patterns of social behaviors in a group of adolescents with ASD during a group social competence intervention program. Moreover, we wanted to see whether an observational scale could be combined fruitfully with polar coordinate analysis and to investigate whether typical ASD behaviors show similar interrelations (prospective and retrospective sequentialities) as behaviors observed in psychotherapy. We used an adaptation from the Social Skills Training Program (UC Davis, California). We observed that each participant took a unique course, increasing or decreasing the number and quality of their social behaviors. In accordance with previous literature, results suggest some increment in the amount of appropriate social conduct. We did not detect a generalized progress pattern but agreed that there were changes between the beginning and end of the intervention. Therefore, we consider that observational methodology is useful in the field of psychotherapy and ASD, offering detailed information about changes and development that cannot be obtained with other traditional measures, such as questionnaires.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article1158
RevistaFrontiers in Psychology
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2019


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