Advertisement

Affect comprehension in children with pervasive developmental disorders

  • Mark Braverman
  • Deborah Fein
  • Dorothy Lucci
  • Lynn Waterhouse
Article

Abstract

Affect comprehension was studied in children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and normal children matched for mental age. Three matching tasks were used: matching objects (a nonsocial control task), matching faces, and matching affects. The three tasks were developed to be of equal difficulty for normal children. Children were also tested for comprehension and expression of affect terms. The PDD children were impaired on affect matching relative to the normal controls. The PDD children were impaired on face and affect matching relative to their own performance on object matching, whereas the normal children were not. Within the PDD sample, object matching was correlated with mental age measures but not with measures of social behavior and play, but face and affect matching were significantly correlated with mental age as well as social behavior and play. Individual PDD children who showed relative deficits on face or affect matching tended to be more socially impaired than PDD children whose face and affect matching was consonant with their mental age. Results are discussed in terms of possible etiologies of the social deficit in PDD children, and the importance of subtypes within this population.

Keywords

Normal Control Social Behavior School Psychology Developmental Disorder Normal Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A. M., & Frith, U. (1985). Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind”?Cognition, 21, 37–46.Google Scholar
  3. Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A. M., & Frith, U. (1986). Mechanical, behavioral and intentional understanding of picture stories in autistic children.British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 4, 113–125.Google Scholar
  4. Denckla, M. B. (1986). Editorial: New diagnostic criteria for autism and related behavioral disorders—Guidelines for research protocols.Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 25, 221–224.Google Scholar
  5. Dunn, L., & Dunn, L. (1981).Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  6. Ekman, P. (1975).Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologits Press.Google Scholar
  7. Fein, D., Pennington, B., Markowitz, P., Braverman, M., & Waterhouse, L. (1986). Towards a neuropsychological model of infantile autism: are the social deficits primary?Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 25, 198–212.Google Scholar
  8. Gardner, M. F. (1979).Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test. CA: Academic Therapy Publications.Google Scholar
  9. Gray, J. M., Fraser, W. L., and Lendar, I. (1983). Recognition of emotion from facial expression in mental handicap.British Journal of Psychiatry, 142, 142, 566–571.Google Scholar
  10. Hobson, R. P. (1982a). The autistic child's concept of persons. In D. Park (Ed.),Proceedings of the 1981 International Conference on Autism, Boston. Washington, DC: National Society for Children and Adults with Autism.Google Scholar
  11. Hobson, R. P. (1982b).The autistic child's knowledge of persons. Paper presented at the Conference of the Development Section of the British Psychological Society, Durham.Google Scholar
  12. Hobson, R. P. (1986a). The autistic child's appraisal of expressions of emotion.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 27, 321–342.Google Scholar
  13. Hobson, R. P. (1986b). The autistic child's appraisal of expression and emotion: A further study.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 27, 671–680.Google Scholar
  14. Hobson, R. P. (in press). Beyond cognition: A theory of autism. In G. Dawson (Ed.),Autism: New perspectives on diagnosis, nature and treatment. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  15. Izard, C. E. (1971).The face of emotion. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  16. Jennings, W. (1973). A study of the preference of affective cues in autistic children.Dissertation Abstracts International, 34(8-B), 4045–4046.Google Scholar
  17. Maurer, H., and Newbrough, J. R. (1987). Facial expressions of mentally retarded and nonretarded children: I. Recognition by mentally retarded and nonretarded adults.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 91, 505–510.Google Scholar
  18. McCarthy, D. (1972).McCarthy scales of children's abilities. San Antonio, TX: Psychology Corporation.Google Scholar
  19. Sparrow, S. S., Balla, D. A., & Cicchetti, D. V. (1984). Vineland adaptive behavior scales. Circle Pine, MN: American Guidance Services.Google Scholar
  20. Szatmari, P. (1986).Social comprehension in Asperger's syndrome. Paper presented at American Academy of Child Psychiatry, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  21. Thorndike, R. L., Hagen, E. P., & Sattler, J. M. (1986).Stanford-Binet intelligence scale (4th ed.). Chicago: Riverside.Google Scholar
  22. Wolff, S., & Barlow, A. (1979). Schizoid personality and childhood: A comparative study of schizoid, autistic, and normal children.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 20, 29–46.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Braverman
    • 1
  • Deborah Fein
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dorothy Lucci
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lynn Waterhouse
    • 4
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolHarvardUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of NeuropsychologyBoston University School of MedicineBoston
  3. 3.University of ConnecticutUSA
  4. 4.Trenton State CollegeTrentonUSA

Personalised recommendations