A Review of Social Skills Deficits in Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Profiles, Mechanisms, and Interventions
Article first published online: 21 OCT 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 568–576, April 2012
How to Cite
Kully-Martens, K., Denys, K., Treit, S., Tamana, S. and Rasmussen, C. (2012), A Review of Social Skills Deficits in Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Profiles, Mechanisms, and Interventions. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36: 568–576. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01661.x
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 21 OCT 2011
- Received for publication March 29, 2011; accepted July 29, 2011.
- Prenatal Alcohol Exposure;
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders;
- Social Skills
Background: Individuals gestationally exposed to alcohol experience a multitude of sociobehavioral impairments, including deficits in adaptive behaviors such as social skills.
Methods: The goal of this report is to critically review research on social skills deficits in individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure, including individuals with and without fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
Results: Social deficits are found in alcohol-exposed children, adults, and adolescents with and without a clinical presentation. These deficits tend to persist across the lifespan and may even worsen with age. Social deficits in this population appear to be independent of facial dysmorphology and IQ and are worse than can be predicted based on atypical behaviors alone. Abnormalities in neurobiology, executive function, sensory processing, and communication likely interact with contextual influences to produce the range of social deficits observed in FASD.
Conclusions: Future investigations should strive to reconcile the relationship between social skills deficits in FASD and variables such as gender, age, cognitive profile, and structural and functional brain impairments to enable better characterization of the deficits observed in this population, which will enhance diagnosis and improve remediation.