The specificity and stability of task-related social behaviors in children ages 5 to 12 was examined. Social behaviors during solvable and unsolvable puzzles were compared among children with Down syndrome, children with mental retardation, and typically developing children matched on mental age (MA). Compared to children without Down syndrome, those with the disorder looked to an adult and requested help more frequently. They also took longer to complete the tasks. These findings suggest that the overuse of social behaviors observed in young children with Down syndrome remains stable over the early school years and are specific to children with Down syndrome.

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