Social skills and executive function deficits in children with the 22q11 Deletion Syndrome

Appl Neuropsychol. 2006;13(4):258-68. doi: 10.1207/s15324826an1304_7.


The 22q11 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) is among the most frequent gene deletion disorders, occurring once in every 6,000 live births. Descriptive reports have suggested marked social differences in affected children. Empirical studies are needed to verify possible social skills deficits among children with 22q11DS, and also to examine possible associations between their frequently reported executive function deficits and social anomalies. Fifty-two parents of affected children (n = 52) and participating control siblings (n=26) completed the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) and Behavior Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). When compared with control siblings, children with 22q11DS had significantly lower SSRS ratings for Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, and Self-Control. Affected children had significantly higher BRIEF ratings for Initiation, Planning, Working Memory, and Monitoring. In affected children, global Social Skill was negatively correlated with BRIEF Global Composite scores. Initiation and Monitoring significantly predicted Social Skill. Children with 22q11DS have marked differences in social skill development which are associated with executive dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 22 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Nervous System Diseases / psychology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parents
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Socialization*
  • Syndrome