Social interest in high functioning adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Sue Fletcher-Watson, Sue Leekam, John Findlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are principally characterized by impairments in social functioning. Experimental investigation often is conducted using methods measuring social attention, social cognition, and social communication. In this study, we instead measured interest in social information, making a distinction between basic-level person-centered social information such as physical attributes of people (“human” information) and high-level social information such as hypotheses about mental states, emotion, and relationships (“social” information). Based on content analysis of verbal descriptions of color images, 31 young adults (4 women), aged 17 to 25 years with ASD, and 35 typically developing young adults (8 women), aged 17 to 31 years, devoted similar proportions of their descriptions to human and social topics. Results are interpreted in the context of current calls for more ecologically valid methodology and in relation to other assessments of social processing in ASD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFocus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities
Early online date1 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • high functioning autism; Asperger's syndrome; content analysis; social interest


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