Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Focused and social attention of autistic children in interactions with familiar and unfamiliar adults: A comparison of autistic, mentally retarded, and normal children

  • Connie Kasari (a1), Marian Sigman (a1) and Nurit Yirmiya (a2)

Abstract

This study involved observations of children's behaviors in interactive situations with both familiar and unfamiliar partners. The greatest differences between the autistic and nonautistic children were in an unstructured situation where caregivers did not initiate interactions. In this situation, autistic children rarely looked to the partner or initiated social bids to the partner. They also were less focused on the toys available for play compared to nonautistic children. However, the autistic children were similar in their interactive responses to the partner in an adult-initiated social situation. Individual differences confirmed that more able autistic children in terms of cognitive and language abilities also engaged in greater social and communicative behavior with the partner. These findings suggest that the ways in which social deficits are manifested by autistic children are variable with respect to the context in which they are measured.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence to: Connie Kasari, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

References

Hide All
American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed. rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
Bell, R. Q. (1971). Stimulus control of parent or caretaker behavior by offspring. Developmental Psychology, 4, 6372.
Cicchetti, D. (1984). The emergence of developmental psychopathology. Child Development, 55, 17.
Clark, P., & Rutter, M. (1981). Autistic children's responses to structure and to interpersonal demands. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 11, 201211.
Dawson, G., Hill, D., Spencer, A., Galpert, L., & Watson, L. (1990). Affective exchanges between young autistic children and their mothers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 18, 335345.
Hermelin, B., & O'Connor, N. (1970). Psychological experiments with autistic children. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Kasari, C., Sigman, M., Mundy, P., & Yirmiya, N. (1988). Caregiver interactions with autistic children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 16, 4556.
Kasari, C., Sigman, M., Mundy, P., & Yirmiya, N. (1990). Affective sharing in the context of joint attention interactions. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 20, 87100.
Krug, D. A., Arick, J. R., & Almond, P. G. (1979). Autism screening instrument for educational planning background and development. In Gilliam, J. (Ed.), Autism: Diagnosis, instruction, management and research. Austin: University of Texas Austin Press.
Landry, S. H., & Loveland, K. A. (1989). The effect of social context on the functional communication skills of autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 19, 283299.
Loveland, K. A., & Landry, S. H. (1986). Joint attention and language in autism and developmental language delay. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 16, 335349.
Mundy, P., Kasari, C., & Sigman, M. (1992). Nonverbal communication, affective sharing and intersubjectivity. Infant Behavior and Development, 15, 377381.
Mundy, P., Sigman, M., Ungerer, J., & Sherman, T. (1986). Defining the social deficits of autism. The contribution of nonverbal communication measures. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 27, 657669.
Park, C. C. (1986). Social growth in autism: A parent's perspective. In Schopler, E. & Mesibov, G. (Eds.), Social behavior in autism (pp. 8199). New York: Plenum Press.
Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context. New York: Oxford University Press.
Schopler, E., Richter, R., & Renner, R. (1986). The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS): For diagnostic screening and classification of autism. New York: Irvington.
Sigman, M., & Mundy, P. (1989). The development of social attachments in children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 28, 7481.
Sigman, M., Mundy, P., Sherman, T., & Ungerer, J. (1986). Social interactions of autistic, mentally retarded and normal children and their caregivers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 27, 647655.
Sigman, M., & Ungerer, J. (1984). Attachment behaviors in autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 14, 231244.
Ungerer, J., & Sigman, M. (1981). Symbolic play and language comprehension in autistic children. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 20, 318337.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Yirmiya, N., Sigman, M., Kasari, C., & Mundy, P. (1992). Empathy and cognition in high-functioning children with autism. Child Development, 63, 150160.

Focused and social attention of autistic children in interactions with familiar and unfamiliar adults: A comparison of autistic, mentally retarded, and normal children

  • Connie Kasari (a1), Marian Sigman (a1) and Nurit Yirmiya (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed