Social functioning in adults with neurofibromatosis type 1

Natalie A. Pride*, Hilda Crawford, Jonathan M. Payne, Kathryn N. North

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common single-gene disorder characterised by a diverse range of cutaneous, neurological and neoplastic manifestations. It is well recognised that children with NF1 have poor peer interactions and are at risk for deficits in social skills. Few studies, however, have examined social functioning in adults with NF1. We aimed to determine whether adults with NF1 are at greater risk for impairment in social skills and to identify potential risk factors for social skills deficits. We evaluated social skills in 62 adults with NF1 and 39 controls using self-report and observer-report measures of social behaviour. We demonstrate that adults with NF1 exhibit significantly less prosocial behaviour than controls. This deficit was associated with social processing abilities and was more evident in males. The frequency of antisocial behaviour was comparable between the two groups, however was significantly associated with behavioural regulation in the NF1 group. These findings suggest that poor social skills in individuals with NF1 are due to deficits in prosocial behaviour, rather than an increase in antisocial behaviour. This will aid the design of interventions aimed at improving social skills in individuals with NF1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3393-3399
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive deficits
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
  • Social cognition
  • Social skills


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