Cook, Fay (2009)
Clin.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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There is a substantial body of research indicating that compromised social functioning for individual with intellectual disabilities can have far reaching implications for quality of life, community participation and well being. As the implications of such findings are so important for people with intellectual disabilities the research has grown at a fast pace. However, an inherent difficulty for research on social functioning is the lack of definitions for key concepts in the area. The current paper reviews the available definitions for four concepts related to sociability (social cognition, social competence, social skills and social behaviour) a concept which itself is poorly defined. By reviewing the definitions available in the wider social and cognitive psychology literature and comparing these to definitions provided in research with individuals with learning disabilities it is clear that some of the concepts are poorly defined. The current article suggests possible working definitions which may be used as the impetus for future debate in the area. The clinical implications of having implicitly understood concepts rather than definable and measurable traits are considered. The review calls for researchers to provide definitions for the concepts being investigated and to consider the measures employed
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