Changes in Socio-Emotional and Behavioral Functioning After Attending a Camp for Children with Tourette Syndrome: A Preliminary Investigation

Cyd K. Eaton, Julia LaMotte, Ana M. Gutierrez-Colina, Patricia Kardon, Ronald L. Blount

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome are at risk for social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties that may negatively influence feelings of self-competence and attitudes toward having this diagnosis. Attending a camp for children with Tourette syndrome may facilitate improvements in overall socio-emotional and behavioral functioning and self-perception. The current study obtained data from 37 campers (76 % male, 24 % female) and 47 caregivers of campers to investigate changes in children’s emotional and behavioral functioning, self-perception (i.e., social and general), attitudes towards having Tourette syndrome, and how different they felt from peers after attending a 1-week summer camp for youth with Tourette syndrome using a pre-post design. Results indicated that campers endorsed a significantly improved sense of social self-competence and more favorable attitudes toward having Tourette syndrome post-camp. Campers also tended to endorse feeling less different than peers at camp versus peers in general. Caregivers endorsed significantly less severe symptoms associated with Tourette syndrome for campers after attending camp. No pre-to-post-camp changes were observed for campers’ levels of anxiety or obsessive-compulsive symptoms. These preliminary findings suggest that attending camp or having other opportunities to interact with similar peers may promote better perceptions of social self-competence, more favorable attitudes toward having Tourette syndrome, and a stronger sense of affiliation with peers for children with Tourette syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1203
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavioral functioning
  • Camp
  • Socio-emotional functioning
  • Tourette syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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