Emotion-related abilities in mildly mentally retarded adults
Perez, Sara M.
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Four emotion-related skills of 20 mildly retarded adults were compared with the abilities of 20 nonretarded children comparable in mental age and with 20 nonretarded adults. The four emotion-related skills were: (a) the ability to recognize facial expressions of emotions from photographs; (b) the ability to produce facial expressions of emotion; (c) the ability to recognize emotion-situation links; and (d) the ability to produce emotion-eliciting stories. Each subject was interviewed individually for 30 minutes. Mildly mentally retarded adults were able to recognize facial expressions of emotion from photographs as accurately as the children. Both the children and the mentally retarded were, however, found to be less adept than the nonretarded adults at recognizing facial expressions. The mildly mentally retarded participants were found to be less proficient than both the nonretarded children and the nonretarded adults in their ability to produce facial expressions, and in their ability to recognize emotion-situation links. No differences were found between the three groups in their production of emotion-eliciting stories. In addition, a number of gender-related findings emerged. Overall, female subjects were found to be more proficient than the male subjects at recognizing facial expressions of emotion, in producing facial expressions, and in producing emotion-eliciting stories. Females raters were found to be more proficient at recognizing the subjects' posed expressions of emotion and in recognizing the generated emotion-elicited stories than the male raters.