Emotion Dysregulation and the Core Features of Autism Spectrum Disorder
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The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between emotion dysregulation and the core features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which include social/communication deficits, restricted/repetitive behaviors, and sensory abnormalities. An 18-item Emotion Dysregulation Index was developed on the basis of expert ratings of the Child Behavior Checklist. Compared to typically developing controls, children and adolescents with ASD showed more emotion dysregulation and had significantly greater symptom severity on all scales. Within ASD participants, emotion dysregulation was related to all core features of the disorder, but the strongest association was with repetitive behaviors. These findings may facilitate the development of more effective therapeutic strategies targeting emotion dysregulation in order to optimize long-term outcomes for individuals with ASD.
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Disorder Core features Emotion regulation Restricted/repetitive behaviors Social/communication deficits Sensory abnormalities
The study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation PA00P1_136380 (A.S.), the Simons Foundation (K.P.), Escher Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation (A.H) and Mosbacher Family Fund for Autism Research. We thank Robin Libove, Christina Mich Ardel, and Sean Berquist for their help with this study.
Conflict of interest
None. The work with human subjects complies with the guiding policies and principles for experimental procedures endorsed by the NIH.
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