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J Autism Dev Disord. 1987 Dec;17(4):487-98.

Perspective-taking ability and its relationship to the social behavior of autistic children.

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  • 1University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


A study was undertaken to assess the relationship between perspective-taking ability and the quality of social behavior in autistic children. Sixteen autistic children ranging from 6 to 14 years of age were administered three types of perspective-taking tasks (perceptual, conceptual, and affective), as well as the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Leiter International Performance Scale. Two measures of social behavior were taken: the Vineland Social Maturity Scale and the Social Behavior Rating Scale, designed for the present study. It was found that perspective-taking ability was significantly correlated with both measures of social skills, whereas receptive vocabulary and nonverbal intelligence were not. These results suggest that the social impairments of autistic children may be related to specific deficits in social cognition.

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