Social skills problems in children with epilepsy: Prevalence, nature and predictors

Enrica Tse, Lorie Hamiwka, Elisabeth M.S. Sherman, Elaine Wirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


To determine the prevalence, nature, and predictors of social skills impairment in children with epilepsy, 101 parents completed the Social Skills Rating System, the Child Behavior Checklist, a general health questionnaire for both their child with epilepsy (aged 3-17) and his or her sibling, a quality-of-life assessment for the child with epilepsy, and Family Assessment Measure III. Epilepsy-specific variables were recorded for each case. Although children with epilepsy had poorer social skills (P < 0.05) and were less assertive (P < 0.006) than their siblings, the proportion with clinically significant social skills deficits was low and did not differ between groups (13% vs 7%, P = 0.12). Neurological factors were related to social skills, but only presence of a learning disability (odds ratio = 8.64, 95% CI = 1.87-39.98) and abnormal family function (odds ratio = 8.75, 95% CI = 1.42-53.83) were strongly predictive of social skills impairment. Lower social skills were moderately correlated with epilepsy-specific and global quality of life (P < 0.001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Behavior
  • Family function
  • Pediatric epilepsy
  • Quality of life
  • Social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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