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ERIC Number: EJ1113987
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0964-2633
Longitudinal Trajectories of Intellectual and Adaptive Functioning in Adolescents and Adults with Williams Syndrome
Fisher, M. H.; Lense, M. D.; Dykens, E. M.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v60 n10 p920-932 Oct 2016
Background: Williams syndrome (WS) is associated with a distinct cognitive-behavioural phenotype including mild to moderate intellectual disability, visual-spatial deficits, hypersociability, inattention and anxiety. Researchers typically characterise samples of individuals with WS by their intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour. Because of the low prevalence of the syndrome, researchers often include participants with WS across a broad age range throughout childhood and adulthood and assume participants demonstrate consistent cognitive development across ages. Indeed, IQ scores are generally stable for children and adolescents with WS, although there are significant individual differences. It is less clear whether this pattern of stable intellectual ability persists into adulthood. Furthermore, while adaptive behaviour is an important indicator of an individual's ability to apply their conceptual skills to everyday functioning, conflicting findings on the trajectories of adaptive behaviour in adolescents and adults with WS have been reported. The current study examined longitudinal profiles of cognitive and adaptive functioning in adolescents and adults with WS. Method: To examine cognitive functioning, participants included 52 individuals with WS (51.9% men) who were assessed with the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, 2nd edition (KBIT-2) between two and seven times. At their first assessment, participants had a mean age of 25.4 years (SD = 8.4), ranging in age from 14.2 to 48.9 years. To assess adaptive behaviour, participants included a subset of 28 individuals with WS whose parents completed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, 2nd edition (VABS-II) between two and five times. At their initial administration, participants ranged from 17.1-40.2 years of age, with a mean age of 26.5 years (SD = 7.3). A series of multilevel models were used to examine changes in KBIT-2 Composite IQ, Verbal IQ and Nonverbal IQ standard scores over time, as well as the Adaptive Behavior Composite, and the Communication, Daily Living Skills and Socialization subdomains of the VABS-II. Results: Consistent with the WS cognitive profile, IQ scores were significantly lower than the general population IQ score of 100, and there was significant variability in individual IQ scores and slopes. KBIT-2 IQ scores were generally stable across adolescents and adults with WS. Adaptive behaviour scores were significantly lower than the population mean score of 100, and there was significant variability in individuals' adaptive behaviour scores but not trajectories. However, in contrast to the findings with the KBIT-2, VABS-II scores were observed to significantly decrease over time. Conclusion: Findings suggest that while intellectual functioning remains stable, adaptive functioning does not remain stable across adolescence and adulthood in individuals with WS. Implications for the relation between cognitive and adaptive functioning across development are discussed, with a focus on how this relates to specific aspects of the WS phenotype.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test; Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A