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Children with social phobia have distinct social skills deficit and vocal characteristics to children with Asperger's disorder and typically developing children

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Do children with social phobia (SP) and Asperger's disorder have similar social skill deficits and vocal characteristics?


90 children aged 7–13 years old: 30 with a primary diagnosis of SP, 30 with Asperger's disorder and 30 typically developing peer group controls with no psychiatric diagnoses. Children with Asperger's disorder also had to have high social anxiety on the SP and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C; score ≥14 for boys and ≥18 for girls).


One university anxiety disorders clinic, Florida, USA; time period not stated.


The social skills and vocal characteristics of the participants were assessed using a Behavioural Assessment Task. Participants were scored for their responses during brief interactions with a same-age peer over five scenarios: starting a conversation with an unfamiliar child, offering help, giving a compliment, receiving a compliment and responding assertively to inappropriate behaviour. The experimenter introduced the scene and the same age-peer initiated the interaction by reading a scripted line provided on an index card. Blinded observers rated social anxiety, overall social skill, pragmatic social behaviour, speech and prosodic social behaviours and paralinguistic social behaviours. Digital …

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  • Sources of funding Not reported.


  • Competing interests None.