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The Quality of Everyday Eye Contact in Williams Syndrome: Insights from Cross-syndrome Comparisons

Ridley, E. and Arnott, B. and Riby, D. M. and Burton, M. D. and Hanley, M. and Leekam, S. R. (2022) 'The Quality of Everyday Eye Contact in Williams Syndrome: Insights from Cross-syndrome Comparisons.', American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 127 (4). pp. 293-312.


Past research shows that individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have heightened and prolonged eye contact. Using parent report measures, we examined not only the presence of eye contact but also its qualitative features. Study 1 included individuals with WS (n=22, age 6.0–36.3). Study 2 included children with different neurodevelopmental (ND) conditions (WS, autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and children with neurotypical development (NT) (n=262, age 4.0–17.11). Unusual eye contact features, including staring, were found in approximately half of the WS samples. However, other features such as brief glances were frequently found in WS and in all ND conditions, but not NT. Future research in ND conditions should focus on qualitative as well as quantitative features of eye contact.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:31 August 2021
Date deposited:23 September 2021
Date of first online publication:27 June 2022
Date first made open access:19 July 2022

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