Social Thinking Research
Latest Peer Reviewed Research
Crooke, P. J. & Winner, M.G. (2016). Association for Behavior Analysis International: October 2016
Crooke, P. J. & Olswang, L. (2015). Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: December 2015 - Volume 58
Evidence & Support for Social Thinking
Browse by Peer Reviewed Articles, Theses/Dissertations, and Research-Based Frameworks below. Click here to read our Evidence to Frameworks to Practice article.
Implementation Research Initiative
Practice-Based Research: Another Pathway for Closing the Research–Practice Gap.
Crooke, P. J., & Olswang, L. (2015). Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
This article examines the prevailing wisdom of moving evidence into practice as defined by the traditional research pipeline that has been viewed as the gold standard in health care. In comparison, evidence that comes from practice will be explored as an alternative research-based paradigm that complements the traditional approach. Research originating within the research and practice setting will be explored as a way to more effectively close the research-practice gap. Practice-Based Research (PBR) will be defined, including principles and methodological guidelines. To illustrate PBR, retrospective data from an existing, highly utilized methodology (Social Thinking) for teaching social knowledge and behaviors to individuals diagnosed with social learning challenges, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), will be presented.
Implementation Science Initiative
Over the past two decades, the science related to developing and identifying efficacious treatments has improved; however, the science related to implementing these programs with fidelity and positive consumer outcomes has not kept pace. Nor has our science explored the myriad of questions that impact effective and efficient service delivery. The gap between laboratory research and practice remains large, suggesting that a more proactive approach to bridging the gap is required. This means that both researchers and practitioners must actively work towards the implementation of knowledge into “real world” settings. This requires that the researcher understand the needs of stakeholders and the systemic complexities of service settings. Implementation involves recognizing and executing a rigorous set of activities designed to put into everyday practice proven procedures or programs; this has been called the science of implementation and it is burgeoning across disciplines." [Dr. Lesley Olswang, 2013 Implementation Science, ASHA].
In a nutshell, Implementation science (IS) is a way of looking at real world scenarios with front line implementers using strategies day-to-day. What we like about (IS) is that it systematically considers the real life barriers that you all face when working in schools, homes, clinics, communities and workplaces while still valuing the evidence/research underlying the tools you use. As we've collected data over the past year, we've discovered some interesting findings. We wanted to know which evidence-based social thinking concepts were embraced by you (professionals and family members) and why. Our goal is to now refine how we share our information to encourage using the concepts in the manner we designed them (fidelity). This data will also guide future outcomes studies.
There have been quite a few articles on the issues of moving evidence based ideas from the university or hospital laboratory setting into the real world setting. One of the most powerful findings was that it could take up to 17 years to translate findings from the lab to the front lines! Why? There is something referred to as a "research pipeline" that can become the clog. We all understand the importance of clinical trials for life saving or life threatening drugs and it makes sense that this is a very time consuming process. This is a clog that is critical and important to many types of medical research. But in the social sciences, the slow-down is often found during the publication phase. It can take years to complete a study and then years to publish the results. And, publication in a peer-reviewed journal still doesn't mean that people will embrace the findings. It's not uncommon for really great research to be stuck in laboratory limbo because the study didn't include the "stakeholders" (you) in the research process.
How You Can Help
Select any of four focus areas below to learn about the related outcomes project OR sign up to be notified when the next project is posted.
This curriculum is geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Using a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum's learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called "zones."
How We Can Help
Social Thinking Practice-Based Research Community
If you are interested in joining our Practice Based Research Community and are willing to: a) collect data, b) analyze data, c) conduct a literature review, or d) help to write text related to the findings, please know that we are in the process of creating opportunities for all of the above. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your expertise or willingness to help.
Practice Based Research
Educational personnel are routinely required to consider and use the best possible evidence to guide teaching, but what if the subjects and conditions in published EBP studies do not resemble subjects and conditions in real life? With this in mind, our question became: How can we tap into professionals who are driven to connect and translate tools that have a strong evidence base into their current practices in a way that will be mutually beneficial for all stakeholders and reflect authentic settings? Our answer was to employ the use of Implementation Science through a modification of the concepts of a Practice-based research networks (PBRN).
PBRN were originally developed and are most commonly used by medical professionals (primarily physicians) to link practitioners with one another (and often an academic hub) to study patients issues with scientific rigor, follow a common thread of research, and disseminate information and findings on a broad level (Green, et. al. 2006). PBRNs fall within the context of Implementation Science, which focuses on the actual procedures that encourage stakeholders to use and adopt evidence-based intervention practices in their environments. We decided that we to create our own research network by connecting those in our community worldwide who are interested in helping to collect data on the kernels of evidence that are found in social thinking concepts. We are are using the term Practice Based Research Community (PBRC) to refer to those of you who are interested in collecting (or have collected) data related to social thinking concepts. We ran a pilot study to determine if the model would work.
PBRC and Levels of the Social Mind (Social Communication Profile)
Links to Other Research
Sfari.orgSFARI’s mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance. Launched in 2003, SFARI is a scientific initiative within the Simons Foundation's suite of programs and is its only program focusing on the science underlying a medical condition.see more
INSARThe International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) is a scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism spectrum disorders. INSAR was formed in 2001 and is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors who oversee all functions of the Society. Various committees assist the Board in carrying out the mission of the Society.see more
ADHD and National Institutes of Mental HealthAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.see more
NIMH and Toddlers with AutismToddlers with Autism Show Improved Social Skills Following Targeted Intervention, Finds NIH-Supported Studysee more
Brain and Behavior FoundationThe Brain & Behavior Research Foundation began as a family movement in 1981 and has become the world’s leading private funder of mental health research. The first NARSAD Grants were awarded in 1987.see more
Journal of Autism and Developmental DisordersThe Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders is the leading peer-reviewed, scholarly periodical focusing on all aspects of autism spectrum disorders and related developmental disabilities.see more