Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Karen Riley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gloria Miller

Third Advisor

Toni Linder

Fourth Advisor

Virginia Maloney

Fifth Advisor

Roy V. Wood


Expressed emotion, Five minute speech sample, Fragile X syndrome


A review of the literature revealed that mothers with children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) face many challenges, including managing their child's behavior which is a defining characteristic of children with FXS (Epstein, Riley, & Sobesky, 2002). Parents and professionals have become increasingly aware through research and everyday experiences that children with FXS are often overly sensitive to multiple stimuli (Hagerman, 1999; Hagerman & Hagerman, 2002; Miller et al., 1999). This overstimulation often leads to behavioral challenges that are characterized by tantrums, angry outbursts, and other forms of aggression. Additionally, mothers of children with FXS have their own personal challenges that come with carrying the premutation of the FMR1 gene. Many factors associated with this maternal genetic status include a heightened risk for premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), compromised self-concepts, and the possibility of giving birth to another child with FXS (Sherman, 2002). The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between the expressed emotion of mothers of children with FXS and the behavioral and sensory characteristics of their children. Expressed Emotion is a construct of the familial emotional climate in which a parent (or close relative) expresses emotional involvement, hostility and/or criticism about their child (McCarty & Weisz, 2002). The primary way to measure expressed emotion is the Five Minute Speech Sample (FMSS) (Magana-Amato, 1993) which is coded through a non-scripted monologue by one of the parents. Adapted from a longer interview process, the Camberwell Family Interview (CFI), FMSS is coded for content and tone of the parents' speech sample for criticisms, emotional over-involvement, relationship status, and positive expressions (Wamboldt, O'Connor, Wamboldt, Gavin, & Klinnert, 2000). The FMSS provides a novel way of looking at the mother-child dyad in the FXS community and provide information to guide intervention for new mothers with young children with FXS. Without pathologizing the mothers of children with FXS, the findings of this study provides insight into the relationship between the expressed emotion of mothers and the behavioral and sensory characteristics of children with FXS that could lead to valuable intervention strategies developed by parents and professionals.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jeanine M. Coleman


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

142 p.


Special education, Early childhood education