social skill, Asperger's Disorder, social phobia
Children with Asperger's Disorder are considered to have impairments in social interaction, but to date few studies have empirically addressed this issue. This study examined the existence of social skills deficits in children with Asperger's Disorder, children with social phobia, and children with no psychological disorder. Using direct observation of social skills during role-play tasks, blinded observers rated an overall impression of social effectiveness and three specific categories of social skill: pragmatic behavior (e.g., effort to maintain conversation, latency to respond), speech and prosodic behavior (e.g., vocal inflection, voice volume), and paralinguistic conversational behaviors (e.g., facial orientation, motor movement). Children with Asperger's Disorder did not display predicted social skills deficits when compared to typically developing children. When compared to children with social phobia, children with Asperger's Disorder were rated as significantly more socially effective and were rated as more skilled on the molecular conversational behaviors that create an overall impression of social effectiveness. These results suggest that children with Asperger's Disorder display adequate social skill during brief social interactions. Furthermore, the social skills deficits present in children with social phobia are not the same deficits found in children with Asperger's Disorder. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Scharfstein, Lindsay, "Elucidating The Social Skills Deficits In Children With Asperger's Disorder: A Comparative Study" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4125.