Brief report: Poor self-regulation as a predictor of individual differences in adaptive functioning in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Res. 2018 Apr 06;:

Authors: Uljarević M, Hedley D, Nevill R, Evans DW, Cai RY, Butter E, Mulick JA

The present study examined the link between poor self-regulation (measured by the child behavior checklist dysregulated profile [DP]) and core autism symptoms, as well as with developmental level, in a sample of 107 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aged 19-46 months. We further examined the utility of DP in predicting individual differences in adaptive functioning, relative to the influence of ASD severity, chronological age (CA), and developmental level. Poor self-regulation was unrelated to CA, developmental level, and severity of ADOS-2 restricted and repetitive behaviors, but was associated with lower ADOS-2 social affect severity. Hierarchical regression identified poor self-regulation as a unique independent predictor of adaptive behavior, with more severe dysregulation predicting poorer adaptive functioning. Results highlight the importance of early identification of deficits in self-regulation, and more specifically, of the utility of DP, when designing individually tailored treatments for young children with ASD. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
LAY SUMMARY: This study explored the relationship between poor self-regulation and age, verbal and non-verbal developmental level, severity of autism symptoms and adaptive functioning in 107 children with autism under 4 years of age. Poor self-regulation was unrelated to age, developmental level, and severity of restricted and repetitive behaviors but was associated with lower social affect severity. Importantly, more severe self-regulation deficits predicted poorer adaptive functioning.

PMID: 29624924 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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