Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 11, pp 3446–3457 | Cite as

Fear of Negative Evaluation Influences Eye Gaze in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study

  • Susan W. White
  • Brenna B. Maddox
  • Robin K. Panneton
SI: Emotion Regulation and Psychiatric Comorbidity in ASD


Social anxiety is common among adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this modest-sized pilot study, we examined the relationship between social worries and gaze patterns to static social stimuli in adolescents with ASD (n = 15) and gender-matched adolescents without ASD (control; n = 18). Among cognitively unimpaired adolescents with ASD, self-reported fear of negative evaluation predicted greater gaze duration to social threat cues (i.e., faces depicting disgust and anger). By comparison, there was no relationship between self-reported social fears and gaze duration in the controls. These findings call attention to the potential import of the impact of co-occurring psychopathology such as social anxiety, and particularly fear of negative evaluation, on social attention and cognition with adolescents who have ASD.


Autism Social anxiety Eye gaze Adolescent Fear 



We gratefully acknowledge the adolescents, and their parents, who volunteered in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan W. White
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brenna B. Maddox
    • 1
  • Robin K. Panneton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology (0436)Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Child Study CenterBlacksburgUSA

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