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Epilepsy Behav. 2005 Mar;6(2):218-28.

Social competence in pediatric epilepsy: insights into underlying mechanisms.

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Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


This study compared parent-based Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) social competence scores of 90 children with complex partial seizures (CPS) and 62 with absence epilepsy (CAE) of average intelligence with scores of 91 healthy children. It also examined the role of seizure-related, cognitive, behavioral, linguistic, social communication, and demographic variables on these measures. When differences in cognitive, linguistic, and demographic variables were controlled for, the CPS and CAE groups had significantly lower scores in the school, but not in the social interaction and activities domains compared with the healthy control group. Among the patients, lower Full Scale IQ externalizing behaviors, disruptive disorders, minority status, and impaired social communication, but not seizure variables, predicted lower social competence scores. These findings demonstrate the importance of controlling for cognitive, behavioral, and demographic variables in social competence studies of children with CPS and CAE and the need to assess cognition and behavior when parents report school and social problems in these children.

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