Social Avoidance Emerges in Infancy and Persists into Adulthood in Fragile X Syndrome

Jane Roberts, Hayley Crawford, Abigail L. Hogan, Amanda Fairchild, Bridgette Tonnsen, Alexis Brewe, Shannon O’Connor, Douglas A. Roberts, Leonard J Abbeduto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is characterized by both social approach and social avoidance. However, the age of emergence and developmental trajectory of social avoidance has not been examined. This study investigates the longitudinal developmental trajectory and dynamic nature of social avoidance in males with FXS from infancy through young adulthood (n = 191). Multiple facets of social avoidance were collected using the Social Avoidance Scale (Roberts et al. 2007, 2009). Overall, 81% of males with FXS displayed social avoidance, which emerged during infancy, increased in severity across childhood, and stabilized through adolescence and early adulthood. An exaggerated “warm up” effect was also observed in FXS. This study delineates the complex profile of social avoidance, a common and impairing behavioral feature of FXS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Fragile X
  • Infant
  • Social anxiety
  • Social approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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