Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 3741–3755 | Cite as

Stranger Fear and Early Risk for Social Anxiety in Preschoolers with Fragile X Syndrome Contrasted to Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Jessica F. Scherr
  • Abigail L. Hogan
  • Deborah Hatton
  • Jane E. Roberts
S.I. : Anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

This study investigated behavioral indicators of social fear in preschool boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS) with a low degree of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms (FXS-Low; n = 29), FXS with elevated ASD symptoms (FXS-High; n = 25), idiopathic ASD (iASD; n = 11), and typical development (TD; n = 36). Gaze avoidance, escape behaviors, and facial fear during a stranger approach were coded. Boys with elevated ASD symptoms displayed more avoidant gaze, looking less at the stranger and parent than those with low ASD symptoms across etiologies. The iASD group displayed more facial fear than the other groups. Results suggest etiologically distinct behavioral patterns of social fear in preschoolers with elevated ASD symptoms.

Keywords

Fragile X syndrome Autism spectrum disorder Stranger fear Anxiety Temperament 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to the families who participated in this research. This project was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH107573; R01MH0901194; PI: Roberts) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P30-HD003110-35S1; PI: Bailey).

Author contributions

JS conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed some statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript; AH helped to draft the manuscript and performed some statistical analysis. JR participated in the design and interpretation of the data; and DH participated in the design and coordination of the study and performed the measurement. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica F. Scherr
    • 1
  • Abigail L. Hogan
    • 1
  • Deborah Hatton
    • 2
  • Jane E. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Special EducationVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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