Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Matching Procedures in Autism Research: Evidence from Meta-Analytic Studies

  • Michal Shaked
  • Nurit Yirmiya
Article

Abstract

In this paper, we summarize some of our findings from a series of three meta-analyses and discuss their implications for autism research. In the first meta-analysis, we examined studies addressing the theory of mind hypothesis in autism. This analysis revealed that theory of mind disabilities are not unique to autism, although what may be unique is the severity of the dysfunction in this group. Variables such as the chronological and mental age of the participants, and the matching procedures that the researchers employed, were found to be significant moderator variables. In the next two meta-analyses, data regarding siblings and parents of individuals with autism were analyzed. Type of comparison group (e.g., siblings or parents of individuals with Down syndrome or learning disabilities) and type of outcome measure (cognitive, psychiatric, language) were found to be important moderator variables. Furthermore, method of assessing the psychiatric difficulties (e.g., self-report, clinical measures) was found to be a moderator variable in parents' meta-analysis. Suggestions for future research are discussed, high-lighting variables such as type of comparison group, matching procedures, chronological and mental ages, gender, and birth order.

Autism siblings parents theory of mind broad phenotype psychiatric status cognition 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Reference

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A. M., & Frith, U. (1985). Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind”? Cognition, 21, 37-46.Google Scholar
  3. Beeghly, M., Weiss-Perry, B., & Cicchetti, D. (1990). Beyond sensorimotor functioning: Early communicative and play development of children with Down syndrome. In D. Cichetti & M. Deeghly (Eds.), Children with Down syndrome: A developmental approach (pp. 329-368). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Burack, J. A., Charman, T., Yirmiya, N., & Zelazo, P. R. (2001). Development and autism: Messages from developmental psychopathology. In The development of autism: Perspectives from theory and research (pp. 3-16). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Capps, L., Yirmiya, N., & Sigman, M. (1992). Understanding of simple and complex emotions in non-retarded children with autism. Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 1169-1182.Google Scholar
  6. Frith, U., & Happe, F. (1999). Theory of mind and self-consciousness: What is it like to be autistic? Mind and Language, 14, 1-22.Google Scholar
  7. Hill, E. L., & Frith, U. (2003). Understanding autism: Insights from mind and brain. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vol. 358, no. 1430, pp. 281-289. The Royal Society: UK.Google Scholar
  8. Lainhart, J. E., Ozonoff, S., Coon, H., Krasny, L., Dinh, E., Nice, J., & McMahon, W. (2002). Autism, regression, and the broader autism phenotype. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 113, 231-237.Google Scholar
  9. Leboyer, M., Plumet, M. H., Goldblum, M. C., Perez-Diaz, F., & Marchaland, C. (1995). Verbal versus visuospatial abilities in relatives of autistic females. Developmental Neuropsychology, 11, 139-155.Google Scholar
  10. Mundy, P., Sigman, M., Kasari, C., & Yirmiya, N. (1988). Nonverbal communication skills in Down syndrome children. Child Development, 59, 235-249.Google Scholar
  11. Pilowsky, T., Yirmiya, N., Arbelle, S., & Moses, T. (2000). Theory of mind abilities of children with schizophrenia, children with autism, and normally developing children. Schizophrenia Research, 42, 145-155.Google Scholar
  12. Piven, J. (2001). The broad autism phenotype: A complementary strategy for molecular genetic studies of autism. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 105, 34-35.Google Scholar
  13. Piven, J., Palmer, P., Jacobi, D., Childress, D., & Arndt, S. (1997). Broader autism phenotype: Evidence from a family history study of multiple-incidence autism families. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 185-190.Google Scholar
  14. Sigman, M. (1994). What are the core deficits in autism? In S. H. Berman & J. Gould (Eds.), Atypical cognitive deficits in developmental disorders: Implications for brain functioning (pp. 139-157). New Jersey & London: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Sigman, M. (1996). Behavioral research in childhood autism. In M. Lenzenwager & J. Hougaard (Eds.), Frontiers of developmental psychopathology (pp. 190-206). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Sigman, M., & Ruskin, E. (1999). Continuity and change in the social competence of children with autism, Down syndrome, and developmental delays. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 64, 1-114.Google Scholar
  17. Szatmari, P., MacLean, J. E., Jones, M. B., Bryson, S. E., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bartolucci, G., Mahoney, W. J., & Tuff, L. (2000). The familial aggregation of the lesser variant in biological and nonbiological relatives of PDD probands: A family history study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 579-586.Google Scholar
  18. Wadsworth, S. J., DeFries, J. C., Fulker, D. W., & Plomin, R. (1995). Cognitive ability and academic achievement in the Colorado Adoption Project: A multivariate genetic analysis of parentoffspring and sibling data. Behavior Genetics, 25, 1-15.Google Scholar
  19. Wagner, S., Ganiban, J. M., & Cicchetti, D. (1990). Attention, memory and perception in infants with Down syndrome: A review and commentary. In D. Cicchetti and M. Beeghly (Eds.), Children with Down syndrome: A developmental perspective (pp. 147-179). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Yirmiya, N., Erel, O., Shaked, M., & Solomonica-Levi, D. (1998). Meta-analyses comparing theory of mind abilities of individuals with autism, individuals with mental retardation, and normally developing individuals. Psychological Bulletin, 2, 283-307.Google Scholar
  21. Yirmiya, N., Shaked, M., & Erel, O. (2001). Comparison of siblings of individuals with autism and siblings of individuals with diagnoses other than autism: An empirical summary. In E. Schopler, N. Yirmiya, C. Shulman, & L. M. Marcus (Eds.), The research basis for autism intervention (pp. 59-74). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Yirmiya, N., & Shaked, M. (in press). Psychiatric disorders in parents of children with autism: A meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  23. Zelazo, P. D., Burack, J., Benedetto, E., & Frye, D. (1996). Theory of mind and rule use in individuals with Down syndrome: A test of the uniqueness and specificity claims. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 37, 479-484.Google Scholar
  24. Zelazo, P. D., Burack, J. A., Boseivski, J. J., Jacques, S., & Frye, D. (2001). A cognitive complexity and control framework for the study of autism. In J. A. Burack, T. Charman, N. Yirmiya, and P. R. Zelazo (Eds.), The development of autism: Perspectives from theory and research (pp. 195-218). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and School of EducationThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations