The Friendship Questionnaire: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Friendship is an important part of normal social functioning, yet there are precious few instruments for measuring individual differences in this domain. In this article, we report a new selfreport questionnaire, the Friendship Questionnaire (FQ), for use with adults of normal intelligence. A high score on the FQ is achieved by the respondent reporting that they enjoy close, empathic, supportive, caring friendships that are important to them; that they like and are interested in people; and that they enjoy interacting with others for its own sake. The FQ has a maximum score of 135 and a minimum of zero. In Study 1, we carried out a study of n = 76 (27 males and 49 females) adults from a general population, to test for previously reported sex differences in friendships. This confirmed that women scored significantly higher than men. In Study 2, we employed the FQ with n = 68 adults (51 males, 17 females) with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism to test the theory that autism is an extreme form of the male brain. The adults with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism scored significantly lower on the FQ than both the male and female controls from Study 1. The FQ thus reveals both a sex difference in the style of friendship in the general population, and provides support for the extreme male brain theory of autism.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). DSM-IV diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th ed. Washington, DC: Author.
- Asperger, H. (1944). Die “Autistischen Psychopathen” im Kindesalter. Archiv fur Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 117, 76-136.
- Bailey, A., Bolton, P., & Rutter, M. (1998). A full genome screen for autism with evidence for linkage to a region on chromosome 7q. Human Molecular Genetics, 7, 571-578.
- Baron-Cohen, S. (1999). The extreme male-brain theory of autism. In H. Tager-Flusberg (Ed.), Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Baron-Cohen, S. (2000). The cognitive neuroscience of autism: Implications for the evolution of the male brain. In M. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences, 2nd ed., Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Baron-Cohen, S. (2002). The extreme male brain theory of autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6, 248-254.
- Baron-Cohen, S., & Hammer, J. (1997a). Is autism an extreme form of the male brain? Advances in Infancy Research, 11, 193-217.
- Baron-Cohen, S., & Hammer, J. (1997b). Parents of children with Asperger Syndrome: What is the cognitive phenotype? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, 548-554.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Jolliffe, T., Mortimore, C., & Robertson, M. (1997). Another advanced test of theory of mind: Evidence from very high functioning adults with autism or Asperger Syndrome. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 813-822.
- Baron-Cohen, S., O'Riordan, M., Jones, R., Stone, V., & Plaisted, K. (1999a). A new test of social sensitivity: Detection of faux pas in normal children and children with Asperger Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 407-418.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Ring, H., Wheelwright, S., Bullmore, E., Brammer, M., Simmons, A., & Williams, S. (1999b). Social intelligence in the normal and autistic brain: An fMRI study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 11, 1891-1898.
- Baron-Cohen, S., & Wheelwright, S. (in press). The Empathy Quotient (EQ). An investigation of adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, and normal sex differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Griffin, R., Lawson, J., & Hill, J. (2002). The exact mind: Empathising and systemising in autism spectrum conditions. In U. Goswami (Ed.), Handbook of Cognitive Development. Oxford: Blackwells.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Scahill, V., Lawson, J., & Spong, A. (2001a). Are intuitive physics and intuitive psychology independent? A test with children with Asperger Syndrome. Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders, 5, 47-78.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001b). The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/high functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 5-17.
- Bauminger, N. K. (2000). Loneliness and friendship in high-functioning children in autism. Child Development, 71, 447-456.
- Caplan, P., Crawford, M., Hyde, J., & Richardson, J. (1997). Gender differences in human cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Davis, M. H. (1994). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Colorado: Westview Press.
- Geary, D. C. (1998). Male, Female: The evolution of human sex differences. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Golombok, S., & Fivush, R. (1994). Gender development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Hines, M., & Kaufman, F. R. (1994). Androgens and the development of human sex-typical behavior: Rough-and-tumble play and sex of preferred playmates in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Child Development, 65, 1042-1053.
- Kimura, D. (1999). Sex and Cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Lawson, J., Baron-Cohen, S., & Wheelwright, S. (in press). Empathizing and systemizing in adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
- Maccoby, E. (1999). The two sexes: growing up apart, coming together: Boston: Harvard University Press.
- Weschler, D. (1939). The measurement of adult intelligence. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins.
- Wing, L. (1981). Asperger Syndrome: A clinical account. Psychological Medicine, 11, 115-130.
- World Health Organization. (1994). International classification of diseases, 10th ed., Geneva, Switzerland: Author.
- The Friendship Questionnaire: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume 33, Issue 5 , pp 509-517
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- high-functioning autism
- Asperger Syndrome
- social relationships
- Theory of Mind
- Industry Sectors