Social skills in children with epilepsy: How do they compare to healthy and chronic disease controls?

Lorie D. Hamiwka, Lorraine A. Hamiwka, Elisabeth M.S. Sherman, Elaine Wirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Studies have shown poor long-term social outcomes in adults with childhood-onset epilepsy. Our goal was to compare social skills in children with epilepsy with those of healthy and chronic disease controls. Children (8-16. years) with epilepsy (n=59) were compared with age- and gender-matched children with chronic kidney disease (n=40) and healthy controls (n=41). Parents completed the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) questionnaire. Children with epilepsy had significantly poorer SSRS total scores when compared with healthy controls (P=0.002); however, their scores did not differ from those of children with chronic kidney disease (P=0.52). Children with epilepsy were less cooperative (P=0.02), less assertive (P=0.004), and less responsible (P=0.05) and displayed poorer self-control (P=0.005) than healthy controls. Our results suggest that having a chronic disease plays a role in the social functioning of children with epilepsy. The impact of epilepsy itself on social functioning should be further elucidated through detailed prospective assessments over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-241
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Child
  • Chronic disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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