Social Anxiety and Emotion Recognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders

The primary aim of the current study was to examine social anxiety symptoms in high-functioningchildren and adolescents, ages eight to 17 years old with autism (HFA) or Asperger syndrome(AS). The second aim was to study emotion recognition skills in children and adolescents withHFA/AS. In addition, two internationally used social anxiety questionnaires (The Social Phobiaand Anxiety Inventory for Children and; The Social Anxiety Scale for Children -revised) weretranslated into Finnish, and psychometric analyses were performed in order assess the research andclinical utility of these measures as novel tools for the study of child social anxiety in Finland. Results suggest that adolescents, in particular, with HFA/AS experience a greater number ofsocial anxiety symptoms and have increased rates of clinically relevant social anxiety disorder(SAD) than do their control counterparts. Parents reported higher levels of anxiety symptoms intheir children with HFA/AS regardless of the child’s age; however, individuals with HFA/AS self-reported anxiety symptoms increased later in their development (i.e., adolescence). In addition,overall facial emotion recognition increased with age in the HFA/AS group. Despite this, the HFA/AS group did not reach the higher ability level attained by the typically developing adolescentsregardless of age. Specifically, when the facial emotion expressed a combination of both surpriseand fear, participants with HFA/AS labelled the facial expression as “fear” statisticallysignificantly more often than did controls. Moreover, control participants interpreted faces whichblended sadness and neutral emotions as neutral more often than HFA/AS participants. Resultssuggest that social anxiety is clinically important to assess in children and adolescents with HFA/AS. Clinical interventions which enhance emotion recognition skills and reduce social anxietysymptoms in individuals with HFA/AS may be warranted. 

Acta Universitatis Ouluensis D Medica 1086
Oulun yliopisto
1. painos
Sanna Kuusikko-Gauffin
Viivakoodi 9789514293337
Tuotekoodi 70020013
21,00 €
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