Presentation Title

What are the Psychological Predictors of Traits of Autism? A Study of Gender Variation

Faculty Mentor

Kimmy Kee-Rose

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 22

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

There is a general agreement that individuals with autism-spectrum disorder show impairments in emotion perception and experience lower levels of self-esteem. However, little is known about other aspects of emotional processing and specific domains of self-esteem that are critical for adaptive functioning. It is also unclear whether healthy individuals with subtle traits of autism demonstrate similar deficits in these psychological processes and whether females’ deficits would be comparable to impairments of males. The current ongoing study examined psychological predictors (i.e., emotional awareness, emotional creativity, performance esteem, appearance esteem, and social esteem) of autism traits in a sample of 116 female and 60 male university students. Participants’ emotional awareness was assessed using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and emotional creativity was measured using the Emotional Creativity Inventory. Autism traits were assessed using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, a measure of the degree to which adults of average intelligence show symptoms of autism spectrum conditions. For female students, a series of multiple regression analyses revealed that among the predictors, emotional awareness (β = 0.149; t= 3.748, p = .0001) and social esteem (β = -0.324; t= -3.409, p = .001) were the strongest determinants of autism traits, whereas performance esteem (β = 0.172; t= 1.839, p = .069) was at a trend level. Similarly, for the male sample, social esteem (β = -0.24; t=-1.911, p = .061) was a trend level predictor of autism traits. However, emotional creativity was not a significant predictor of traits of autism in both the female and male samples. These preliminary findings may potentially increase our understanding of the role of emotional awareness and specific aspects of self-esteem in predicting traits of autism, with differential patterns related to gender.

Summary of research results to be presented

For female students, a series of multiple regression analyses revealed that among the predictors, emotional awareness (β = 0.149; t= 3.748, p = .0001) and social esteem (β = -0.324; t= -3.409, p = .001) were the strongest determinants of autism traits, whereas performance esteem (β = 0.172; t= 1.839, p = .069) was at a trend level. Similarly, for the male sample, social esteem (β = -0.24; t=-1.911, p = .061) was a trend level predictor of autism traits. However, emotional creativity was not a significant predictor of traits of autism in both the female and male samples.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

What are the Psychological Predictors of Traits of Autism? A Study of Gender Variation

CREVELING 22

There is a general agreement that individuals with autism-spectrum disorder show impairments in emotion perception and experience lower levels of self-esteem. However, little is known about other aspects of emotional processing and specific domains of self-esteem that are critical for adaptive functioning. It is also unclear whether healthy individuals with subtle traits of autism demonstrate similar deficits in these psychological processes and whether females’ deficits would be comparable to impairments of males. The current ongoing study examined psychological predictors (i.e., emotional awareness, emotional creativity, performance esteem, appearance esteem, and social esteem) of autism traits in a sample of 116 female and 60 male university students. Participants’ emotional awareness was assessed using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and emotional creativity was measured using the Emotional Creativity Inventory. Autism traits were assessed using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, a measure of the degree to which adults of average intelligence show symptoms of autism spectrum conditions. For female students, a series of multiple regression analyses revealed that among the predictors, emotional awareness (β = 0.149; t= 3.748, p = .0001) and social esteem (β = -0.324; t= -3.409, p = .001) were the strongest determinants of autism traits, whereas performance esteem (β = 0.172; t= 1.839, p = .069) was at a trend level. Similarly, for the male sample, social esteem (β = -0.24; t=-1.911, p = .061) was a trend level predictor of autism traits. However, emotional creativity was not a significant predictor of traits of autism in both the female and male samples. These preliminary findings may potentially increase our understanding of the role of emotional awareness and specific aspects of self-esteem in predicting traits of autism, with differential patterns related to gender.