Friday, April 17, 2009

New Research on How Williams Syndrome Effects Quality of Peer Relationships

High Point University © 2009:
"HIGH POINT, N.C., April 13, 2009 - Dr. Kirsten Li-Barber, assistant professor of psychology at High Point University, recently presented a poster entitled 'Social Profile in Children and Adolescents with Williams syndrome' at the Society for Research in Child Development Conference (SRCD) in Denver, Colo.

The purpose of her research study was to examine the social functioning of children and adolescents with Williams syndrome (WS). Although these individuals are described as having a highly outgoing and sociable personality, research has indicated that they also have difficulty maintain high-quality peer relationships.

Li-Barber administered the Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS) to parents and teachers of children and adolescents with Williams syndrome, and compared these responses to see if there were significant patterns of social functioning that both parties agreed represented deficits in WS.

What she found was that although these individuals appeared to function at a social level that was significantly lower than typically developing individuals, they were still in the "normal range." She believes it could be due to the fact that the measure used is developed to assess the presence of pro-social or positive social skills behaviors as opposed to the presence of negative social behaviors. Her research leads to a better indication of what these individuals do well, as opposed to what they do not do well. "

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