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The Interplay Between Anxiety and Social Functioning in Williams Syndrome

Riby, D.M.; Hanley, M.; Kirk, H.; Clark, F.; Little, K.; Fleck, R.; Janes, E.; Kelso, L.; O’Kane, F.; Cole-Fletcher, R.; Allday, M.H.; Hocking, D.; Cornish, K.; Rodgers, J.

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H. Kirk

F. Clark

K. Little

R. Fleck

E. Janes

L. Kelso

F. O’Kane

R. Cole-Fletcher

M.H. Allday

D. Hocking

K. Cornish

J. Rodgers


The developmental disorder Williams syndrome (WS) has been associated with an atypical social profile of hyper-sociability and heightened social sensitivity across the developmental spectrum. In addition, previous research suggests that both children and adults with WS have a predisposition towards anxiety. The current research aimed to explore the profiles of social behaviour and anxiety across a broad age range of individuals with the disorder (n = 59, ages 6–36 years). We used insights from parental reports on two frequently used measures, the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS-P) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Severity of anxiety was correlated with a greater degree of social dysfunction as measured by the SRS in this group. We split the group according to high or low anxiety as measured by the SCAS-P and explored the profile of social skills for the two groups. Individuals high and low in anxiety differed in their social abilities. The results emphasise the need to address anxiety issues in this disorder and to consider how components of anxiety might relate to other features of the disorder.


Riby, D., Hanley, M., Kirk, H., Clark, F., Little, K., Fleck, R., …Rodgers, J. (2014). The Interplay Between Anxiety and Social Functioning in Williams Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(5), 1220-1229.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 7, 2013
Publication Date May 1, 2014
Deposit Date Dec 4, 2013
Publicly Available Date Mar 27, 2014
Journal Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Print ISSN 0162-3257
Electronic ISSN 1573-3432
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 5
Pages 1220-1229
Keywords Williams syndrome, Social, Anxiety.


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