The effect of being imitated in children with autism: the role of familiarity with social partner

Ong, Su Sen (2012). The effect of being imitated in children with autism: the role of familiarity with social partner Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Ong, Su Sen
Thesis Title The effect of being imitated in children with autism: the role of familiarity with social partner
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Virginia Slaughter
Total pages 45
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Previous research have shown that children with autism would increase in social responsiveness after being imitated by an adult, regardless whether the adult was a stranger or the child’s caregiver (Nadel et al, 2000; Escalona et al., 2002; Field et al., 2001; Heimann et al., 2006; Sanefuji, Yamashita & Ohgami, 2009; Sanefuji & Ohgami, 2011). Although no direct comparison has been made between the familiar and unfamiliar adult’s imitation effect on children with autism, existing literature has provided evidence suggesting that children with autism tend to preferentially display social behaviors towards their caregiver than to an unfamiliar person (Kasari, Sigman, Yirmiya, 1993; Kasari & Sigman, 1997). With that, the present study aimed to examine whether familiarity with the imitating social partner would induce a differential social responsiveness from children with autism after being imitated. A modified version of Nadel et.al (2000)’s still face paradigm served as the basic procedure for the two conditions in the study - the familiar social partner condition (caregiver) and the unfamiliar social partner condition (experimenter). A total of 9 children with autism took part in both conditions in a repeated measures design. It was found that children with autism showed an increase in their proximity behaviors and also engaged in less solitary play after being imitated by their parent, but not after being imitated by the unfamiliar experimenter. The study highlighted the importance of familiarity with the social partner for children with autism in an imitative context and further discussed how this familiarity factor comes into play in a domestic and clinical setting.
Keyword Effect of being imitated
Autism in children
Role of familiarity

 
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Created: Thu, 07 Mar 2013, 14:05:52 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology