, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 509-517

Social Functioning Among Girls with Fragile X or Turner Syndrome and Their Sisters

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Social behaviors among two genetically homogeneous groups—girls with fragile X (fraX) or Turner syndrome (TS)—were examined to address the role of family environment versus biological determinants of social dysfunction in girls with these disorders. Using a sibling pair design, girls with fraX or TS were compared with their own sisters on measures of IQ and social functioning. The 8 girls with fraX and the 9 girls with TS had lower FSIQ scores and higher ratings of social and attention problems relative to their own sisters. Girls with fraX also had higher ratings of withdrawn behaviors, relative to their own sisters. The unaffected sisters were not rated as demonstrating any difficulties in these areas, relative to controls. Correlations between problem ratings and FSIQ were not statistically significant. Although these preliminary findings do not indicate a lack of familial impact on social development in girls with either disorder, the results provide preliminary evidence that social dysfunction reported for girls with fraX or TS cannot be attributed solely, nor primarily, to global aspects of the family environment.