Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999 Page 7

Arrested social development seen in FAS

Individuals with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) often are retarded, but a new study indicates that they also suffer from social deficits "beyond what can be explained by low IQ scores"-a finding which may help explain why FAS is a risk factor for behavioral l problems and criminality.

S. E. Thomas et al. compared 15 children with FAS to two control groups, one matched for verbal IQ and another with normal or high IQ scores. The researchers say that "the children with FAS were most impaired on [tests assessing] interpersonal relationshi ip skills." Furthermore, they say, social deficits were more pronounced in older children with FAS, "indicat[ing] that there may be arrested, and not simply delayed, development of social abilities in children with FAS."


"Comparison of social abilities of children with fetal alcohol syndrome to those of children with similar IQ scores and normal controls," S. E. Thomas, S. J. Kelly, S. N. Mattson, and E. P. Riley, Alcohol Clin Exp Research, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 19 998, pp. 528-533. Address: S. E. Thomas, Institute of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425.

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