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Durham University

Psychology

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Publication details for Professor Deborah Riby

Little, K., Riby, D. M., Janes, E., Fleck, R., Clark, F. & Rodgers, J. (2013). Heterogeneity of social approach behaviour in Williams syndrome: The role of response inhibition. Research in Developmental Disabilities 34(3): 959-967.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The developmental disorder of Williams syndrome (WS) is associated with an overfriendly personality type, including an increased tendency to approach strangers. This atypical social approach behaviour (SAB) has been linked to two potential theories: the amygdala hypothesis and the frontal lobe hypothesis. The current study aimed to investigate heterogeneity of SAB in WS by exploring whether subgroups of SAB profiles could be identified using cluster analytic techniques. Twenty-five children with WS aged 6–15 years completed three behavioural tasks tapping (i) social approach behaviour, (ii) emotion recognition ability and (iii) response inhibition. Cluster analyses revealed preliminary evidence of WS subgroups based on SAB profiles and indicated that response inhibition ability was the key differentiating variable between SAB cluster profiles. The findings provide tentative support for the frontal lobe hypothesis of SAB in WS and highlight the importance of investigating SAB at a heterogeneous level.

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