Telling stories: Gender differences in peers’ emotion talk and communication style
ABSTRACT Eighty girls and 64 boys (M= 6 years; 8 months, SD= .65) narrated a wordless picture book in mixed- or same-gender dyads. In mixed-gender as well as same-gender dyads, girls used more emotion explanations than did boys. Combined across dyad type, girls used more emotion labels than did boys. Girls used a higher proportion of collaborative speech acts than did boys in same-gender dyads, but girls and boys used the same amount in mixed-gender dyads. Whereas girls used a higher proportion of informing acts in mixed-gender dyads than did boys, boys used more than did girls in same-gender dyads. The findings support contextual models of gender and suggest that speaker as well as partner gender influence emotion expression and conversational style.
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ABSTRACT: There has been intensified interest in the neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) given their role in affiliative and social behavior in animals, positive results of treatment studies using OT, and findings that genetic polymorphisms in the AVP-OT pathway are present in individuals with ASD. Nearly all such studies in humans have focused only on males. With this preliminary study, we provide basic and novel information on the involvement of OT and AVP in autism, with an investigation of blood plasma levels of these neuropeptides in 75 preadolescent and adolescent girls and boys ages 8-18: 40 with high-functioning ASD (19 girls, 21 boys) and 35 typically developing children (16 girls, 19 boys). We related neuropeptide levels to social, language, repetitive behavior, and internalizing symptom measures in these individuals. There were significant gender effects: Girls showed higher levels of OT, while boys had significantly higher levels of AVP. There were no significant effects of diagnosis on OT or AVP. Higher OT values were associated with greater anxiety in all girls, and with better pragmatic language in all boys and girls. AVP levels were positively associated with restricted and repetitive behaviors in girls with ASD but negatively (nonsignificantly) associated with these behaviors in boys with ASD. Our results challenge the prevailing view that plasma OT levels are lower in individuals with ASD, and suggest that there are distinct and sexually dimorphic mechanisms of action for OT and AVP underlying anxiety and repetitive behaviors. Autism Res 2013, ●●: ●●-●●. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Autism Research 04/2013; 6(2). DOI:10.1002/aur.1270 · 4.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Individuals with autism and schizophrenia exhibit atypical language and social symptoms. The extent to which these symptoms are evident during development and in current functioning is unclear. Three groups of patients aged 11-20 diagnosed as clinical-high-risk for psychosis (CHR; n=15), first episode psychosis (FEP; n=16), and autism spectrum disorders (ASD; n=20), plus typically developing individuals (TYP; n=20) were compared on common autism parent-report questionnaires assessing social and language development and current functioning including the Social Communication Questionnaire, the Children's Communication Checklist, and the Social Reciprocity Scale. All clinical groups demonstrated atypical social and language development, with social impairment highest in ASD. Twenty percent of participants with CHR and FEP met diagnostic criteria for ASD as assessed by parent-report. ASD exhibited greater current syntactic, and pragmatic language symptoms including delayed echolalia, pedantic speech, and deficits in appreciating irony and sarcasm. All clinical groups exhibited current deficits in social functioning. CHR and FE had similar and intermediate levels of functioning relative to ASD and TYP, with CHR generally scoring closer to TYP, providing construct validity for the CHR diagnostic label. The results of this study suggest that ASDs, CHR, and FEP share common features of atypical neurodevelopment of language and social function. Evidence of impaired social reciprocity across both disorders and distinct language symptoms in ASDs provides important information for differential diagnosis and psychosis prevention, as well as leads for future investigations of comparative genetics and pathophysiology.Schizophrenia Research 03/2011; 131(1-3):146-51. DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2011.03.005 · 4.43 Impact Factor