Adaptive Functioning, Social Skills, Mental Health, and Personal Strengths among Adolescents with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE)

  •  Jennifer Mariasine    
  •  Jacqueline Pei    
  •  Cheryl Poth    
  •  Dorothy Henneveld    
  •  Carmen Rasmussen    


Three key areas of dysfunction reported as having a significant impact on how adolescents with Prenatal Alcohol
Exposure (PAE) navigate their teen years and work towards independence are: mental health, social skills, and
adaptive functioning. However, little is known about how adolescents with PAE perceive their own functioning
relative to others, and what they and others see as potential strengths on which they may build. Participants
included 32 adolescents (17 male, 15 female); 31% had confirmed prenatal exposure to alcohol (PAE) and the
remaining 69% had a diagnosis of a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Adolescents and their caregivers
completed the following measures: ABAS-2 (adaptive skills), SSIS (social skills), BASC-2 (mental health
functioning), and BERS-2 (personal strengths). Overall, caregivers rated adolescents as having significantly
more difficulties across all measures assessed when compared to the adolescents. The only area of agreement
between caregiver and adolescents prenatally exposed to alcohol was on career strength. The knowledge gained
from the results of this exploratory study can help adolescents with PAE better understand themselves and help
researchers to better characterize this population.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.