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Exploring the role of empathy in understanding the social-cognitive profile for individuals referred for autism spectrum disorders assessment in adulthood

Exploring the role of empathy in understanding the social-cognitive profile for individuals referred for autism spectrum disorders assessment in adulthood
Exploring the role of empathy in understanding the social-cognitive profile for individuals referred for autism spectrum disorders assessment in adulthood
This study explored the social-cognitive profile of 173 adults referred for an autism assessment. We considered key dimensional traits (autism, empathy and systemising) to understand social cognition in adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition compared with those who were referred for, but did not receive a diagnosis. There were no significant social cognitive differences between groups on measures of emotion recognition and social inference. Adults with a confirmed diagnosis, however, reported fewer empathising traits which were positively associated with social-cognitive understanding. Empathising partially mediated the relationship between diagnostic group and social-cognition. Lower empathising traits in individuals diagnosed in adulthood may be important in understanding challenges with social adaptability. The findings have implications for assessment and highlight the role of empathy in developing social understanding in autism.
Autism spectrum disorder, Adults, neuropsychology, social cognition, Diagnosis
0162-3257
Russ, Victoria
91304e34-944a-4a77-aa78-59a63db06450
Kovshoff, Hanna
82c321ee-d151-40c5-8dde-281af59f2142
Brown, Tony
92f95f06-d1c5-4853-a23f-3e8794d65b6b
Abbott, Patricia
0e848763-0e04-4031-9dc9-f47c91d8269f
Hadwin, Julie
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee
Russ, Victoria
91304e34-944a-4a77-aa78-59a63db06450
Kovshoff, Hanna
82c321ee-d151-40c5-8dde-281af59f2142
Brown, Tony
92f95f06-d1c5-4853-a23f-3e8794d65b6b
Abbott, Patricia
0e848763-0e04-4031-9dc9-f47c91d8269f
Hadwin, Julie
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee

Russ, Victoria, Kovshoff, Hanna, Brown, Tony, Abbott, Patricia and Hadwin, Julie (2018) Exploring the role of empathy in understanding the social-cognitive profile for individuals referred for autism spectrum disorders assessment in adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. (doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3693-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This study explored the social-cognitive profile of 173 adults referred for an autism assessment. We considered key dimensional traits (autism, empathy and systemising) to understand social cognition in adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition compared with those who were referred for, but did not receive a diagnosis. There were no significant social cognitive differences between groups on measures of emotion recognition and social inference. Adults with a confirmed diagnosis, however, reported fewer empathising traits which were positively associated with social-cognitive understanding. Empathising partially mediated the relationship between diagnostic group and social-cognition. Lower empathising traits in individuals diagnosed in adulthood may be important in understanding challenges with social adaptability. The findings have implications for assessment and highlight the role of empathy in developing social understanding in autism.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 25 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 July 2018
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Adults, neuropsychology, social cognition, Diagnosis

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424841
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424841
ISSN: 0162-3257
PURE UUID: 94b446a9-ac6e-4e02-9d5b-cc8ba7eb88ac
ORCID for Hanna Kovshoff: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6041-0376

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:49
Last modified: 08 Oct 2020 04:01

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