Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 2087–2095 | Cite as

A Preliminary Study of Gender Differences in Autobiographical Memory in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Lorna GoddardEmail author
  • Barbara Dritschel
  • Patricia Howlin
Original Paper


Autobiographical memory was assessed in 24 children (12 male, 12 female, aged between 8 and 16 years) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a comparison group of 24 typically developing (TD) children matched for age, IQ, gender and receptive language. Results suggested that a deficit in specific memory retrieval in the ASD group was more characteristic of male participants. Females in both the TD and ASD groups generated more detailed and emotional memories than males. They also demonstrated superior verbal fluency scores; verbal fluency and autobiographical memory cueing task performance were significantly positively correlated in females. Results are discussed in light of recent research suggesting gender differences in the phenotype of ASD.


Autobiographical memory Gender Autism spectrum disorder 



This research was supported by funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), Ref: RES-062-23-0197. We are very grateful to all who participated in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorna Goddard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara Dritschel
    • 2
  • Patricia Howlin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of St. AndrewsFifeScotland, UK
  3. 3.Institute of PsychiatryKings CollegeLondonUK

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