Peer Relations, Social Adjustment and Family Functioning in Tourette Syndrome

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
IWK Children’s Hospital Canada
Investigators Name
Bawden, Harry, PhD

We have shown in a previous study that some children with Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) have poor peer relationships and are rated by their teachers and classmates as more aggressive and withdrawn, and less popular than their classmates. Peer relationship ratings were not related to tic severity, tic duration or medication status. It seems likely that the presence of tics as well as additional factors are contributing to those difficulties. In fact, associated presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) did increase the risk for peer relationship problems. However, TS children without ADHD still have poorer peer relationships than their classmates. The long-term objective of our study is to determine why this is so and which types of treatment may be useful in improving their social adjustment. In the proposed project (which has been funded by the Tourette Syndrome Association) we are planning to compare the peer relationships and social skills of children with TS and a chronic disease control group comprised of diabetics. Parental personality traits and family functioning in families with a child with TS or diabetes also will be examined. Information collected in this study will be useful in identifying characteristics that distinguish between those children with TS who cope well socially from those who have difficulty coping. Eventually, this information should help clinicians plan and develop appropriate interventions for the social difficulties experienced by many children with TS. Harry N. Bawden, Ph.D., Aiden Stokes, M.B., Peter Cornfield, M.D., Carol Cornfield, M.D. MK Children’s Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia Award $22,770 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 1992