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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2002 March;44(1):7-10

language: English

Social adjustment in children with Down mental retardation (MRD) and Fragile-X mental retardation (MRX)

Bargagna S., Canepa G., Tinelli F.

From the Division of Child Neurology and Psychiatry University of Pisa IRCCS Stella Maris, Pisa, Italy


Background. Since adjust­ment abil­ities ­became impor­tant in mental retardation (MR) diag­no­sis, it ­seemed inter­est­ing to ­study ­social adjust­ment in per­sons ­with MR Down (RMD) and MR Fragile-X (RMX). These two syn­dromes are the ­most com­mon caus­es of MR of chro­mo­so­mal ori­gin. To eval­u­ate the influ­ence of tem­per­a­ment insofar as behav­ior and tem­per­a­ment are con­cerned in ­social adjust­ment, we stud­ied tem­per­a­men­tal dimen­sions (emo­tion­al­ity, activ­ity, soci­abil­ity and shy­ness) and ­social func­tion­ing (atten­tion prob­lems and with­draw­al).
Meth­ods. Our ­study ­group was com­posed of 35 chil­dren ­with MR; 23 ­with RMD (F=14) age ­range 4 to 21, and 12 (F=1) ­with RMX age ­ranged ­from 5 to 19. #Social adjust­ment was eval­u­at­ed by two ­scales: EAS and ­CBCL.
Results. The six eval­u­at­ed dimen­sions of adjust­ment func­tion­ing (emo­tion­al­ity, activ­ity, soci­abil­ity, shy­ness, atten­tion prob­lems and with­draw­al) dif­fer in the two MRD and MRX ­groups. MRX ­scores are all high­er ­except for soci­abil­ity; shy­ness, atten­tion prob­lems and emo­tion­al­ity ­show a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence.
Conclusions. The RMX ­group is ­that one may ­have ­more dif­fi­cul­ty in ­social adjust­ment. This is ­because ­they are char­ac­ter­ized by hyper­ac­tiv­ity, with­draw­al, low atten­tion, low ­social func­tion and ­high emo­tion­al­ity ­that are all neg­a­tive symp­toms for a ­social adjust­ment. In our ­study ­group MRD ­have high­er val­ues in the soci­abil­ity ­area and ­they ­don’t ­show rel­e­vant behav­ior­al dis­or­ders and ­they ­have got ­more adap­tive abil­ities. We may hypoth­e­size ­that ­this atti­tude is a ­part of ­their genet­ic struc­ture, and ­also ­that the ­best ­social adjust­ment of Down per­sons may be ­linked to a bet­ter inter­ac­tion ­with the envi­ron­ment.

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