Interrelationship between insistence on sameness, effortful control and anxiety in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
AuthorUljarević, M; Richdale, AL; Evans, DW; Cai, RY; Leekam, SR
Source TitleMolecular Autism
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
University of Melbourne Author/sUljarevic, Mirko
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsUljarević, M., Richdale, A. L., Evans, D. W., Cai, R. Y. & Leekam, S. R. (2017). Interrelationship between insistence on sameness, effortful control and anxiety in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).. Mol Autism, 8 (1), pp.36-. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-017-0158-4.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5521115
BACKGROUND: Both self-regulation and insistence on sameness (IS) are related to anxiety, which is a common feature of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we aimed to characterise the IS-self-regulation-anxiety interrelationship by investigating the potential contribution made by self-regulation, assessed via effortful control (EC), to the IS-anxiety relationship in a sample of adolescents and young adults with ASD. METHOD: Seventy-one older adolescents and younger adults with ASD (49 males, 22 females; Mage = 18.71 years, SD = 2.51, range 14.42-24.81) completed the Adult Repetitive Behaviour Questionnaire-2, Effortful Control Scale of the Adult Temperament Questionnaire and the DSM-5 Dimensional Anxiety Scales. RESULTS: IS was associated with both EC (r = -.39, p = .001) and anxiety (r = .45, p < .001), and anxiety was in turn associated with EC (r = -.44, p < .001). To characterise the nature of this interrelationship, two mediation analyses were performed using the serial mediation model in PROCESS with 5000 resamples in bootstrapping. There was a significant indirect effect of EC on anxiety, through IS (b = -.06; BCa 95% CI [-.13, -.02]), and indirect effect on anxiety through EC (b = 1.62; BCa 95% CI [.59, 3.24]) with the mediators accounting for 29.07 and 26.04% of the total effect, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides the first exploration of the IS-anxiety-self-regulation link in ASD. The finding that lower levels of self-regulation are related both to anxiety and IS behaviours points to self-regulation as a viable intervention target for both anxiety and IS behaviours.
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