Medical College of Wisconsin
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Nonverbal Social Skills of Adults with Mild Intellectual Disability Diagnosed with Depression. J Ment Health Res Intellect Disabil 2009 Jan 01;2(1):11-28



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85011227478   6 Citations


Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in adults with intellectual disability (ID), yet little is known about depressive behaviors in an ID population. This study examined the nonverbal social skills of 18 adults with mild ID diagnosed with depression and a matched sample of adults with mild ID without depression. Nonverbal social skills were coded from videotapes of actual social interactions. Results indicate that adults with mild ID diagnosed with depression evidence a profile of maladaptive nonverbal social skills including limited body movement, a restricted range of facial expressions, infrequent smiling, speaking in a flat and quiet voice, and taking a long time to respond to the questions or comments of a social partner. Findings from this study have implications for enhancing the early detection and diagnosis of depression and guiding theories of and treatments for depression in an ID population.

Author List

Hartley SL, Birgenheir D


Denis Birgenheir PhD Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin