Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Educational Studies


School Psychology

First Advisor

Jane E Roberts


Children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) are at high risk for developing a range of behavioral disorders, including Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, very few studies have investigated the comorbid profile of FXS and ADHD and the possible dissociation from the FXS and ASD profile. The present study examined the relationship of childhood temperament characteristics of the Surgency facet (activity level, impulsivity, approach, shyness, and smiling and laughter) and the severity of ADHD and ASD features at two measurement time points in childhood, preschool (ages 3-4) and at school entry (ages 5-6). The study consisted of males with FXS measured at each time point, as well as comparison of typically developing (TD) boys at the preschool measurement time point. Multiple regression analyses revealed that in boys with FXS, elevated activity level scores are associated with ADHD scores at preschool age and elevated shyness and decreased smiling and laughter is strongly associated with ADHD scores upon school entry. Impulsivity emerges as a strong indicator of elevated ADHD scores around school age, but even preschool impulsivity scores demonstrate some predictive value for higher ADHD scores later in school. Finally, no Surgency characteristic was significantly related to ASD scores at any age. Thus, the Surgency facet of temperament at these ages does not predict strong relationships of comorbid pathologies of ADHD and ASD in FXS, but may however serve as discriminative factor when studying these behavioral outcomes.


© 2013, Marjorie Lee Grefer