A comparative study of the use and understanding of self-presentational display rules in children with high functioning autism and Asperger's disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Aug;37(7):1235-46. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0267-y.


The use and understanding of self-presentational display rules (SPDRs) was investigated in 21 children with high-functioning autism (HFA), 18 children with Asperger's disorder (AspD) and 20 typically developing (TD) children (all male, aged 4- to 11-years, matched on mental age). Their behaviour was coded during a deception scenario to assess use of SPDRs; understanding of SPDRs was assessed via three real/apparent emotion-understanding vignettes. The children with HFA and AspD used less effective SPDRs than the TD children, but there were no group differences in understanding SPDRs. The children with HFA and AspD did not differ on their use or understanding of SPDRs, and the results are discussed in relation to the similarities and differences between these diagnostic conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Asperger Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Asperger Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Child*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Observer Variation
  • Self Concept*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Perception
  • Videotape Recording