In this experimental clinical study, a first attempt was made to examine the desire for social interaction in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children completed both an explicit measure (self-report) and an implicit measure (Face Turn Approach-Avoidance Task) of the desire for social interaction. On the explicit assessment, children with ASD clearly displayed lower scores reflecting less desire for social interaction than TO children. On the implicit assessment, children with ASD showed a stronger tendency to pull both social and non-social stimuli towards them, which indicates a general automatic tendency towards approach, as compared to the TO children. Possible reasons for this dissociation between the explicit and implicit desire for social interaction are discussed and directions for future research are provided. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Desire for social interaction
- Approach and avoidance tendencies
- PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS
- HIGH-FUNCTIONING CHILDREN