Presentation Title

Correlation analysis of electrodermal activity of children with ASD across time

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 355

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Electrodermal activity (EDA) is an index of sympathetic nervous system arousal. Analysis of EDA in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can allow for greater insight into their levels of emotion reactivity. Studies examining EDA in ASD have often focused on status-group differences or prediction of individual differences in core symptomatology. Often considered are both tonic EDA (baseline level) and phasic EDA (reactions to events). Little is known about the stability of EDA measurement over time, and particularly among children with ASD. This study examined the stability of children’s mean and variability of EDA across a variety of intervals. Our sample consisted of 26 racially-diverse children (19 males) with ASD between the ages of 4 and 11 years (M = 7.81). Each child attended two separate two-hour research visits in which EDA was recorded (range = 27 to 576 days between visits). EDA was measured using Affectiva Q-sensors worn on the children’s right wrist which automatically logged skin conductance across a variety of tasks, including direct testing and those designed to elicit emotional responses. Mean EDA and variability (standard deviation) across each of the visits were compared using non-parametric statistics and partial correlation of ranked values. When controlling for between-visit intervals, mean level of EDA was significantly related, r = .45, p < .05; however, the SD of EDA across visits was not correlated, r = .05, ns. Variability across visits was less related as the number of days between visits increased, rs = .41, p < .05, suggesting that the stability of EDA variability decreases over time. Measurements within six months of each other demonstrated high consistency, rs = .72, p < .05, whereas stability was not observed with delays of over six mos, rs = -.07, ns. Implications for measurement and for theory involving EDA will be discussed.

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Nov 12th, 2:30 PM Nov 12th, 2:45 PM

Correlation analysis of electrodermal activity of children with ASD across time

HUB 355

Electrodermal activity (EDA) is an index of sympathetic nervous system arousal. Analysis of EDA in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can allow for greater insight into their levels of emotion reactivity. Studies examining EDA in ASD have often focused on status-group differences or prediction of individual differences in core symptomatology. Often considered are both tonic EDA (baseline level) and phasic EDA (reactions to events). Little is known about the stability of EDA measurement over time, and particularly among children with ASD. This study examined the stability of children’s mean and variability of EDA across a variety of intervals. Our sample consisted of 26 racially-diverse children (19 males) with ASD between the ages of 4 and 11 years (M = 7.81). Each child attended two separate two-hour research visits in which EDA was recorded (range = 27 to 576 days between visits). EDA was measured using Affectiva Q-sensors worn on the children’s right wrist which automatically logged skin conductance across a variety of tasks, including direct testing and those designed to elicit emotional responses. Mean EDA and variability (standard deviation) across each of the visits were compared using non-parametric statistics and partial correlation of ranked values. When controlling for between-visit intervals, mean level of EDA was significantly related, r = .45, p < .05; however, the SD of EDA across visits was not correlated, r = .05, ns. Variability across visits was less related as the number of days between visits increased, rs = .41, p < .05, suggesting that the stability of EDA variability decreases over time. Measurements within six months of each other demonstrated high consistency, rs = .72, p < .05, whereas stability was not observed with delays of over six mos, rs = -.07, ns. Implications for measurement and for theory involving EDA will be discussed.