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16-11-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2016

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 3/2016

Real-World Executive Functions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Profiles of Impairment and Associations with Adaptive Functioning and Co-morbid Anxiety and Depression

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 3/2016
Auteurs:
Gregory L. Wallace, Lauren Kenworthy, Cara E. Pugliese, Haroon S. Popal, Emily I. White, Emily Brodsky, Alex Martin

Abstract

Although executive functioning (EF) difficulties are well documented among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), little is known about real-world measures of EF among adults with ASD. Therefore, this study examined parent-reported real-world EF problems among 35 adults with ASD without intellectual disability and their correlations with adaptive functioning and co-morbid anxiety and depression symptomatology. A variable EF profile was found with prominent deficits occurring in flexibility and metacognition. Flexibility problems were associated with anxiety-related symptoms while metacognition difficulties were associated with depression symptoms and impaired adaptive functioning (though the metacognition-adaptive functioning relationship was moderated by ADHD symptoms). These persistent EF problems are predictors of broader functioning and therefore remain an important treatment target among adults with ASD.

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