College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Social Skills Training for Depressed, Visually-Impaired Older Adults: A Treatment Manual

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1995

Keywords

Depression (Psychology), Evaluation, Higher Education, Interpersonal Competence, Older Adults, Program Design, Role Playing, Training Methods, Visual Impairments, Social Environment, Presbyopia

Publication Title

Behavior Modification

ISSN

0145-4455

Volume

19

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Late-onset visual impairment due to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy afflicts approximately 10% of people older than 65, and often results in depression and social dysfunction. Whereas the majority of sighted older adults are active participants in their community, individuals suffering from progressively worsening vision experience heightened levels of isolation and reduced social support, and participate in fewer reinforcing recreational activities. This article describes our social skills training package for the treatment of depressed, visually impaired, older adults. Our treatment focuses on increasing the frequency and level of assertiveness with which visually impaired older adults interact with each other. In addition to specified treatment methods, our empirically derived program employs standardized assessment measures to evaluate therapeutic progress. Sessions are implemented to reinforce efforts to apply social skills in the environment and reestablish skills that have begun to fade.

DOI

10.1177/01454455950194001