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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 55–66 | Cite as

Cognitive Styles in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autistic Disorder

  • Jan-Pieter Teunisse
  • Alexander R. Cools
  • Karel P. M. van Spaendonck
  • Francisca H. T. M. Aerts
  • Hans J. C. Berger
Article

Abstract

This study addressed the operationalization, the identification, and the prevalence of weak central coherence and poor cognitive shifting in 35 high-functioning adolescents with autism. Central coherence and cognitive shifting were represented by two factors in a factor analysis, each reflecting a constituent aspect of the domain in question. With regard to central coherence, these aspects were the ability of piecemeal processing and the ability to process meaning. The aspects related to cognitive shifting concerned internally and externally controlled shifting. Weak central coherence and poor cognitive shifting did not appear to be related to measures of symptom severity, social understanding, and social competence. Both these cognitive styles did not appear to be universal to autism. In our sample, weak central coherence and poor cognitive shifting were found to be significantly more common than in normative control subjects.

Autism central coherence cognitive shifting social functioning 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan-Pieter Teunisse
    • 1
  • Alexander R. Cools
    • 1
  • Karel P. M. van Spaendonck
    • 1
  • Francisca H. T. M. Aerts
    • 2
  • Hans J. C. Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dr. Leo KannerhuisOosterbeekThe Netherlands

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