Adaptive and Maladaptive Correlates of Repetitive Behavior and Restricted Interests in Persons with Down Syndrome and Developmentally-Matched Typical Children: A Two-Year Longitudinal Sequential Design

David W. Evans, Bucknell University
F. Lee Kleinpeter
Mylissa M. Slane, Bucknell University
K B. Boomer, Bucknell University


We examined the course of repetitive behavior and restricted interests (RBRI) in children with and without Down syndrome (DS) over a two-year time period. Forty-two typically-developing children and 43 persons with DS represented two mental age (MA) levels: `` younger'' 2-4 years; `` older'' 5-11 years. For typically developing younger children some aspects of RBRI increased from Time 1 to Time 2. In older children, these aspects remained stable or decreased over the two-year period. For participants with DS, RBRI remained stable or increased over time. Time 1 RBRI predicted Time 2 adaptive behavior (measured by the Vineland Scales) in typically developing children, whereas for participants with DS, Time 1 RBRI predicted poor adaptive outcome (Child Behavior Checklist) at Time 2. The results add to the body of literature examining the adaptive and maladaptive nature of repetitive behavior.