The present research was conducted with the aim of comparison the effectiveness of applied behavior analysis and play therapy on increasing the social skills of mild intellectual disability children. This study in terms of purpose was applied and in terms of implementation method was quasi-experimental with pre-test-post-test design with experimental and control groups. The research population was mild intellectual disability children referred to counseling centers in the third district of Tehran in the spring season of 2022 year. The research sample was 40 mild intellectual disability children who after reviewing the inclusion criteria were selected by the available sampling method and randomly were assigned into three equal groups including two experimental groups (applied behavior analysis and play therapy) and one control group. Each of experimental groups underwent by applied behavior analysis and play therapy for 10 sessions of 45 minutes (two sessions per week) as a group and during time the control group did not receive education. The tools of the current research included a demographic information form and social skills questionnaire (Gresham and Elliott, 1990). Data were analyzed by multivariate analysis of covariance and Bonferroni post hoc test in SPSS version 22 software. The findings showed that both intervention methods of applied behavior analysis and play therapy in compared to the control group led to increase the social skills and each three components of them including cooperation, assertiveness and self-control of mild intellectual disability children (P<0.001), but between the intervention methods there was no significant difference in increasing the social skills and their components (P>0.05). According to the results of the present study, therapists, counselors and psychologists can use both methods of applied behavior analysis and play therapy to increase the social skills of mild intellectual disability children.
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