Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 935–947 | Cite as

Social Escape Behaviors in Children with Fragile X Syndrome

  • Scott HallEmail author
  • Marie DeBernardis
  • Allan Reiss
Original Paper


Social escape behavior is a common behavioral feature of individuals with fragile X syndrome (fraX). In this observational study, we examined the effect of antecedent social and performance demands on problem behaviors in four conditions: face-to-face interview, silent reading, oral reading and a singing task. Results showed that problem behaviors were significantly more likely to occur during the interview and singing conditions. Higher levels of salivary cortisol were predictive of higher levels of fidgeting behavior and lower levels of eye contact in male participants. There were no associations between level of FMRP expression and social escape behaviors. These data suggest that specific antecedent biological and environmental factors evoke social escape behaviors in fragile X syndrome.


Social escape Eye contact Fragile X syndrome Cortisol 



The authors would like to thank David Hessl, Jennifer Dyer-Friedman, Jacob Wisbeck, Bronwyn Glaser, Donna Mumme, and Cindy Johnston for their participation in this project. This research was supported by NIH grants MH50047 and MH01142 and by a summer studentship awarded to the second author from the National Fragile X Foundation William Rosen Research Award. Portions of these data were presented at the 30th Annual Convention of the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis, Boston, 2004.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Neurogenetics Research Center, Rm 1367, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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