University of Leicester
2018GriffithCPhD.pdf (6.69 MB)

How does the different facial morphology of children with a range of genetic neurodevelopmental syndromes affect how they are perceived by others?

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posted on 2018-11-07, 10:15 authored by Craig Ashley Griffiths
Literature Review: This portion of the thesis presents a systematic review and quantitative synthesis (including meta-analysis) of research pertaining to the behaviour of people diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome. Results suggest that people with CHARGE are likely to present with issues associated with slower motor and adaptive skills development, intellectual disability, language modality, and eating behaviour. Elevated prevalence rates were also found for behaviours associated with a range of psychiatric diagnostic categories. Wide variability was observed in the individual presentation of people with CHARGE, reflecting the heterogeneity of physical manifestations. It is concluded that care should be taken in attributing individual behavioural traits to potential contributory factors. Research Report: The second part of the thesis describes an original research report investigating how the facial appearance of people with a range of genetic neurodevelopmental disorders (GNS) and autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (ASD) may affect prima facie personality trait judgments made by observers. Participants were shown merged face images representing GNS groups at age 12 and ASD diagnosed children at age 9, making trait ratings whilst an eye-tracker recorded viewing behaviour. Results suggested significant differences between trait judgments made between each face compared with a typically developing, age-matched control image. Eye-tracker results suggested differences in how GNS faces were processed with greater attention paid to areas of marked facial difference. Observations relevant to the clinical and social treatment of people with GNSs are discussed, as are implications for future research into face-based trait judgments. Critical Appraisal: A reflexive account is offered about the process of conducting the projects presented within this report, with particular attention to the clinical intent of the report and how that developed over time. Some reflection is offered on how this has changed the trainee’s understanding and contributed to their development as a clinician.



Welham, Alice; Burgess, Gerald

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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