Anxiety characteristics in individuals with Williams syndrome


BACKGROUND: Williams syndrome anxiety research predominantly focuses on disorder prevalence and symptomatology, categorised using standardised mental health classifications. However, the use of these assessments may not fully capture the phenotypic features of anxiety in Williams syndrome. In this study, we examined characteristics of anxiety using a formulation framework. METHOD: A semi-structured interview was conducted with thirteen parents of individuals with Williams syndrome (median age: 19, age range: 12-45, 8 females). RESULTS: Various anxiety triggers were reported, including anxiety triggered by phobias, uncertainty and negative emotions in others. The range of described behaviours was diverse with both avoidant and active coping strategies for anxiety management reported. CONCLUSIONS: Many of the characteristics described were consistent with findings in the intellectual disability and typically developing literature, although novel information was identified. The study demonstrates the utility of a formulation framework to explore anxiety characteristics in atypical populations and has outlined new avenues for research.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Funding: The study was funded by the charity Cerebra (Carmarthen, UK) and the Williams Syndrome Foundation (Portsmouth, UK).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Williams syndrome,anxiety,anxiety assessment,behavioural phenotype,formulation framework,intellectual disability,Education,Developmental and Educational Psychology
Publication ISSN: 1468-3148
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 07:21
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2021 10:13
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Related URLs: https://onlinel ... .1111/jar.12864 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-07
Published Online Date: 2021-02-09
Accepted Date: 2021-01-18
Authors: Royston, Rachel
Oliver, Chris
Howlin, Patricia
Waite, Jane (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8676-3070)

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