Facial emotion recognition in 4- to 8-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder: A developmental trajectory approach

Abstract : The investigation of emotion recognition in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has both theoretical and practical implications. However, although many studies have examined facial emotion recognition in ASD, some points remain unclear. We therefore studied facial emotion recognition in young children with ASD across a small age range, in order to determine (1) their ability to recognize emotion and (2) the developmental trajectory of this ability. Twenty-two children with ASD aged 4–8 years were compared with typically developing children matched on either chronological age or verbal mental age. We administered three facial emotion tasks: matching, identification, and labeling. Results showed that children with ASD and typically developing children had difficulty with labeling emotions, but not with matching or identifying them. Happiness was the easiest to recognize, and surprise the hardest. The children with ASD did not exhibit delayed onset in the development of facial emotion recognition. To conclude, emotion recognition difficulties in children with ASD primarily concern the recognition of negative emotions and the identification of surprise, as they do in TD groups. This should be taken into account in future research, as well as in the design of future intervention programs.
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Journal articles
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https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-02002678
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 6:53:27 PM
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Agnès Lacroix, Michèle Guidetti, Bernadette Roge, Judy Reilly. Facial emotion recognition in 4- to 8-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder: A developmental trajectory approach. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Elsevier, 2014, 8 (9), pp.1146-1154. ⟨10.1016/j.rasd.2014.05.012⟩. ⟨hal-02002678⟩

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