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25-02-2022 | Original Paper

Autistic Traits and Empathy for Others’ Pain Among the General Population: Test of the Mediating Effects of First-Hand Pain Sensitivity

Auteurs: Wenyun Zhang, Shiwei Zhuo, Xiaoyun Li, Weiwei Peng

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 5/2023

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Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by reduced pain empathy—a process that is grounded in first-hand pain perception. Because autistic traits are continuously distributed in the general population, we hypothesized that first-hand pain sensitivity would mediate the link between autistic traits and pain empathy. After controlling for alexithymia, higher autistic traits were associated with lower cognitive and emotional empathy in response to others’ pain, as well as lower sensitivity to cold and heat pain (higher cold pain tolerance and lower laser heat pain-intensity ratings). Importantly, pain sensitivity fully mediated the link between autistic traits and pain empathy. These findings highlight the role of atypical first-hand pain sensitivity in the lack of pain empathy observed in people with high autistic traits or ASD.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Autistic Traits and Empathy for Others’ Pain Among the General Population: Test of the Mediating Effects of First-Hand Pain Sensitivity
Auteurs
Wenyun Zhang
Shiwei Zhuo
Xiaoyun Li
Weiwei Peng
Publicatiedatum
25-02-2022
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 5/2023
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05471-9

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