The Cambridge Friendship Questionnaire (FQ) developed by Baron-Cohen to address this knowledge gap with a particular focus on relationships and . of friendship that is immature and some years behind that of his or her age peers. .. The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High. The FQ thus reveals both a sex difference in the style of friendship in the general high-functioning autism; Asperger Syndrome; social relationships; friendship; . Group 1 comprised 27 males with a mean age This study provides another test . As in Study 1, their occupations ranged from unemployed, Baron-Cohen. report questionnaire, the Friendship Questionnaire (FQ), for use with adults of KEY WORDS: Empathy; high-functioning autism; Asperger Syndrome; social relationships; friendship; gested in a recent theory (Asperger, ; Baron- Cohen, of age. In Study 2, we tested adults with HFA/AS on the. FQ to explore the.
The difficulty in identifying females with ASD may be further compounded by gender differences in sociability, friendships and emotionality in the TD population. That is, social-communicative difficulties are key diagnostic criteria for ASD; yet females with ASD, like TD females, may be less impaired or demonstrate strengths in these areas compared to males with ASD [ 9 ].
This suggestion, however, has yet to be fully tested. It would appear that the nature of social-communicative and friendship differences among TD females and males very likely impacts differences among males and females with ASD, and it would be useful to assay this empirically, in turn possibly leading to the development of more specific and sensitive diagnostic criteria that have regard to gender.
This is critically important as the accurate diagnosis of females with ASD may enhance their access to early and ongoing intervention and support to maximise their development and wellbeing.
Findings may also inform specifically tailored intervention programs for females with ASD in a range of areas, including developing and maintaining friendships. Friendship is widely pronounced to be fundamentally based on three tenants of companionship: Friendships are integral for developing social supports, essential social skills and gender roles [ 111516 ].
Intimate friendships among TD males are characterised by rough and tumble play, minimal close connection and a large group of like-minded friends, acquaintances, playmates or strangers [ 1116 - 19 ]. TD males are more likely to be inclusive in their networks compared to TD females but are more prone to conflict [ 1220 ]. In contrast, intimate friendships involving TD females are characterised by sharing and closeness, based on mutual interest, reciprocity and affection.
Females also demonstrate greater skills in socio-cognitive functioning compared to males [ 21 ]. They tend to have two or three close friends as well as a wider group of friends with whom they regularly interact [ 1620 - 23 ]. Interestingly, friendship stability in females tends to be lower than in males [ 11 ], as females are inclined to change friends or terminate friendships more readily than their male counterparts [ 19 ].
It is generally accepted that TD females demonstrate superior social skills compared to TD males [ 24 ].
Friendship and Relationship Quotient (FQ) | Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences
Friendships within the ASD population, however, are characterised somewhat differently. For example, it is well documented that children and adults with ASD regularly report difficulty with associating with peers and maintaining friendships [ 2526 ]. Using 60 children with ASD, Kasari and colleagues examined social relationships and report that they are more likely to operate on the fringe of their friendship circles and report lower quality of friendships [ 27 ].
Specifically, the social networks of 44 children with ASD and other disabilities were assessed and the authors concluded that children with ASD are more likely to be rejected than otherwise disabled peers by their TD peers [ 28 ]. Reports of feeling abandoned or isolated are not uncommon from children with ASD and this is probably due to their trouble interpreting body language and other social cues [ 29 ].Video 88: Pi-CBT Toolkit 2: Empathy Quotient Questionnaire
Koning and Magill-Evans [ 30 ] found support for this pattern when they investigated social perception and social networks among 42 boys with and without ASD. Carrington and colleagues [ 31 ] interviewed five children with ASD and established common barriers for children with ASD to develop and maintain friendships.
Specifically, they noted that constantly talking about special interests or not wanting to venture outside of comfort zones such as going to new places, or playing a new game are also commonly described as barriers to maintaining friendships for people with ASD [ 3132 ]. Daniel and Billingsley [ 33 ], based on interviews with seven boys with ASD, report that males with ASD often focus their friendships on mutual interests and activities but noted that, in the absence of these shared interests, the friendships rarely continue.
This behaviour is consistent with TD males, whereby males are more likely to socialise around a common interest such as a particular sport or game rather than socio-emotional activities [ 34 ]. Currently, the literature in this area largely focuses on males with ASD, whereby females with ASD are represented by only a few participants in the sample or are excluded altogether [ 1 ].
As such, it is difficult to gain a clear understanding of friendships and sociability for females on the autism spectrum. Due to this limitation in the literature, it may be more useful to utilise clinical accounts of the different presentations of females and males with ASD to better understand how these two groups develop and maintain friendships [ 35 - 38 ].
In a clinical description, Attwood [ 9 ] describes females who develop coping mechanisms or an ability to camouflage their social inadequacies through imitating and memorising acceptable social behaviours.
This clinical description supports the Camouflage Hypothesis, originally proposed by Wing [ 39 ]. Wing proposed that females with ASD develop social skills and coping mechanisms that allow them to blend in or camouflage themselves into society, obscuring a likely diagnosis of ASD, even though there may be other indications of the condition.
Specifically, while these skills are not representative of TD females, they may be superior to those characteristically expressed by a male with autism. As such, females on the spectrum still exhibit social deficits compared to TD females, but display relative strengths in this area compared to males on the spectrum. Attwood [ 9 ] reports that clinically he finds females with ASD utilise cognitive skills to respond to social situations. Similarly, Kopp and Gillberg [ 37 ] describe cases of females who clearly demonstrate autistic-like behaviours but did not fully meet criteria for ASD or Aspergers Syndrome, as specified at that time by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Third Edition revised.
These females are reported to be a diagnostic anomaly whereby their social profile was not at all similar to traditional descriptions of autistic social behaviour [ 37 ].
Taking the Friendship Questionnaire (FQ)
The under-diagnosis of females with ASD has been examined in three more recent studies. Using autism criteria on the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test, Dworzynski compared males and females aged between 10 and 12 years who were drawn from more than 15, sets of twins in the United Kingdom [ 6 ].
When intelligence quotient IQ and functioning levels were equivalently high, females were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with an ASD than males. Furthermore, the females displayed fewer socio-communicative symptoms than the males. A similar pattern was reported by Lai and colleagues [ 40 ] with 83 age- and IQ-matched adult males and females with ASD.
Specifically, females demonstrated fewer socio-communicative deficits than males and they were less likely to be diagnosed [ 41 ]. Both friendships; liking and being interested in people; en- groups were recruited from volunteers in Cambridge, joying interaction with others for its own sake; and United Kingdom, who had acted as controls in previ- finding friendships important.
It was predicted that ous studies. The samples were similarly mixed in terms unaffected females would score highest, unaffected of background, with no differences in the socioeco- males would score slightly but significantly lower than nomic status of Groups 1 and 2.
Information about their ethnicity was The Friendship Questionnaire not obtained but is assumed to be representative of the close, empathic supportive friendships; to like and be population in Cambridge. In structed to complete it on their own and as quickly as Study 2, we tested the EMB theory of autism predic- possible, to avoid thinking about responses too long.
Table I shows formed consent were tested. All subjects in on the FQ a high FQ scorewhereas no male scores as this group had been diagnosed by psychiatrists using high as this. They were recruited via of 70 or higher. Their mean age was Their occupations reflected their mixed socioeconomic status. Because we could not confirm age of onset of language with any preci- Discussion of Study 1 sion because of the considerable passage of timeAs predicted, Study 1 showed that women score these individuals are grouped together, rather than significantly higher on the FQ than men.
Thus, women are more likely to enjoy randomly selected and invited into the lab for intel- lectual assessment using four subtests of the WAIS-R Wechsler, The mean age of Group 2 was As in Study 1, their occupations ranged from unemployed, Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright manual, clerical, professional, and student. Inspection of the means in- cal to that used in Study 1.
Subjects were sent the FQ dicated that this was the result of there being no dif- by post and asked to complete it on their own. A univariate analysis of variance with at or above selected FQ scores. Percentage of Subjects in Study 2 Scoring at or above similar to the normal population i. The AQ measures the FQ is correlated in precisely the direction one would number of autistic traits an adult of normal intelligence expect with the AQ Baron-Cohen et al.
The EQ measures empathy, with the more is, inversely and positively, respectively. It will be empathic individual achieving a higher score. Further studies with the FQ could also include psychiatric samples other than people with autism, as it is likely that friendships and Discussion of Study 2 relationships are affected by a range of psychiatric con- The results of Study 2 show that as a group, indi- ditions.
One appli- adults, and they are less likely to enjoy interaction with cation might be to measure individual differences on others for its own sake. The more autistic traits an this dimension for research purposes such as in quan- affected adult has, as measured by the AQ, the lower tifying a behavioral phenotype in genetic or endocrinal their FQ score. The FQ also correlates with the EQ so research. A third purpose For each of the following questions, tick the box might be to distinguish special populations, as has been next to the statement which most applies to you.
For example, one might 1. That is, 0 the wording is carefully chosen to indicate that indi- viduals might value or prefer different things in rela- 3. As such, a particular score on the FQ is life as I do. It is uncontroversial that both cultural things as me. The evidence here for lower FQ scores b I like to keep my distance from people. We are grateful to Kathryn effort into staying in touch with old friends Moreno and Johnny Lawson for assistance at the pilot than making new friends.
Please answer to have fun with than as someone who is a every question. How easy would you find it to discuss your better at discussing their feelings about the feelings with a stranger? In terms of personality, how similar to your than discussing their feelings about the friends do you tend to be?
How important is it to you what your friends How easy to do you find it to tell a friend about made the first move. My ideal working space would be Very difficult 0 a in an office on my own, without any visitors How easy do you find it to tell a friend about during the day. How interested are you in the everyday de- For the next set of questions, please tick the box tails e. How interested are you in the everyday de- How easy to do you find it to make new tails e. Not very easy 2 Quite difficult 1 Completely disinterested 0 Very difficult 0 Not very interested 1 What would be the minimum social contact Quite interested 3 you would need to get through a day?
When you are in a group, e. Two or three chats with friends during the Of no importance 0 day 4 Of little importance 1 More than any of the above 5 Fairly important 2 What would be the minimum social contact Very important 4 you would need to get through a week? How often do you make plans to meet with hairdresser 2 friends? One chat with a friend 3 Once or twice a year 0 Two or three chats during the week with Once every 2 or 3 months 1 friends 3 One chat every day with a friend 4 Once a month 2 Two or three chats every day with a friend Once every couple of weeks 3 5 Once or twice a week 4 More than any of the above 5 3 or 4 times a week 5 When talking with friends, what proportion More than any of the above 5 of your time do you spend talking about the How would you prefer to keep in touch with following: Use each number only once, i.
The extreme male brain theory of autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6, — Is autism an extreme form spoke of the male brain? Advances in Infancy Research, 11, — Parents of children with Scoring Asperger Syndrome: What is the cognitive phenotype? Journal If either of the two asterisked items are cho- of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, — Evidence from very 5 points are awarded.
Otherwise no points are high functioning adults with autism or Asperger Syndrome.