Emotion regulation in autism spectrum disorder: evidence from parent interviews and children's daily diaries. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines Samson, A. C., Wells, W. M., Phillips, J. M., Hardan, A. Y., Gross, J. J. 2015; 56 (8): 903-913


Although emotion dysregulation is not a defining feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there is a growing consensus that emotional problems play a prominent role in this disorder.The present study examined a wide range of emotion regulation (ER) strategies in 32 individuals with ASD compared to 31 group-matched typically developing (TD) participants in three emotional domains (anger, anxiety, and amusement). Parents of individuals with ASD and TD individuals were interviewed about their child's emotional experience and the use and efficacy of 10 ER strategies. In addition, participants filled out daily diaries on experience and regulation in the same emotional domains.Compared to TD individuals, parents reported that individuals with ASD experienced more anger and anxiety and less amusement, made less frequent use of a variety of adaptive ER strategies (e.g. problem solving, cognitive reappraisal), and made more frequent use of maladaptive strategies (e.g. repetitive behavior). Moreover, individuals with ASD were less effective at utilizing adaptive ER strategies. Self-reports showed differences in experience of amusement and in ER strategies for anger and anxiety, but not in experience of anger and anxiety.This study provides evidence that individuals with ASD less frequently use adaptive - but more frequently use maladaptive - ER strategies. Implications for ASD treatments that focus on increasing the use of adaptive strategies are discussed.

View details for DOI 10.1111/jcpp.12370

View details for PubMedID 25442191