Integrating Effective and Feasible FASD Programming in Schools: An Executive Function Intervention

  • Author / Creator
    Hutchison, Marnie L
  • Developing appropriate and accessible services for individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a priority for caregivers and service providers, especially schools. For this reason, the serious game Caribbean Quest (CQ) was developed. CQ engages children’s attention and working memory, two processes sensitive to the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. Educational assistants have been successfully trained to deliver CQ at school and children with FASD demonstrate significant improvements on attention, working memory, and academic fluency measures following training. The current study advanced this work and used neurocognitive and neurobehavioural assessment and teacher, educational assistant, and child interviews to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of CQ under a new condition – group delivery. The most robust finding reflected improvements in basic inhibitory control, suggesting this executive function might be the most sensitive to CQ training. Teachers reported significant improvements in working memory, behaviour regulation, metacognition, and overall executive functioning following treatment, although scores remained near or in the clinically significant range. Emerging themes from educator interviews will be formative in feasibly integrating CQ as school-based intervention. Group delivery came with benefits and challenges, but the prevailing message from this study is that outcomes are similar to or better than one-on-one treatment and it offers schools a feasible means of providing intervention to many children with FASD simultaneously.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • School and Clinical Child Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Daniels, Lia (Educational Psychology)
    • Rasmussen, Carmen (Pediatrics)
    • Claypool, Tim (Educational Psychology and Special Education)
    • Rinalidi, Christina (Educational Psychology)
    • Boechler, Patricia (Educational Psychology)