Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children under four and children with autism don't yawn contagiously

Date:
September 16, 2010
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A new study found that most children don't yawn contagiously until about age 4, and that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are less likely to yawn in response to another person yawning that children without autism.

If someone near you yawns, do you yawn, too? About half of adults yawn after someone else does in a phenomenon called contagious yawning. Now a new study has found that most children aren't susceptible to contagious yawning until they're about 4 years old -- and that children with autism are less likely to yawn contagiously than others.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut, appears in the September/October 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

To determine the extent to which children at various stages of social development are likely to yawn contagiously, the researchers studied 120 typically developing 1- to 6-year-olds. Although babies begin to yawn spontaneously even before they leave the womb, most of the children in this study didn't show signs of contagious yawning until they were 4.

The team also studied about 30 6- to 15-year-olds with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), comparing them to two other groups of typically developing children with the same mental and chronological ages. The children with ASD were less likely to yawn contagiously than their typically developing peers, the researchers found. And children with diagnoses that imply more severe autistic symptoms were much less likely to yawn contagiously than those with milder diagnoses.

"Given that contagious yawning may be a sign of empathy, this study suggests that empathy -- and the mimicry that may underlie it -- develops slowly over the first few years of life, and that children with ASD may miss subtle cues that tie them emotionally to others," according to the researchers. This study may provide guidance for approaches to working with children with ASD so that they focus more on such cues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Molly S. Helt, Inge-Marie Eigsti, Peter J. Snyder, Deborah A. Fein. Contagious Yawning in Autistic and Typical Development. Child Development, 2010; 81 (5): 1620 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01495.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Children under four and children with autism don't yawn contagiously." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915080427.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2010, September 16). Children under four and children with autism don't yawn contagiously. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915080427.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Children under four and children with autism don't yawn contagiously." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915080427.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins