No Offense Intended: Fear of Negative Evaluation in Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common comorbidity for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study examined the cardinal cognitive component of SAD, fear of negative evaluation (FNE), in adolescents and adults with ASD (n = 44; 59 % with social anxiety) and those without ASD (n = 69; 49 % with social anxiety). Group (ASD or non-ASD) significantly moderated the relationship between social disability, as well as social motivation impairment, and FNE, such that there was a stronger positive relationship for the adolescents and adults without ASD. Few differences emerged between those with and without ASD, with respect to specific indicators of FNE. Clinical implications are discussed, including the importance of assessing FNE among individuals with ASD.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Social anxiety Fear of negative evaluation Adolescents Adults
This study was partially funded by the Organization for Autism Research and the Virginia Tech Graduate Research Development Program. Portions of these findings were presented at the 2015 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting and the 2015 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Meeting.
NC cleaned the data, performed the statistical analysis, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. BM conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, collected the data, assisted with interpretation of the data, and revised the manuscript critically. SW participated in the design and coordination of the study, assisted with interpretation of the data, and revised the manuscript critically. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
All study procedures were approved by the institutional review board for human subject research.
All participants provided informed consent.
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