Executive Function: Cognition and Behaviour in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Kate Johnston, Kim Murray, Deborah Spain, Ian Walker, Ailsa Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies of executive function (EF) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have reported mixed findings. Possible confounds include EF domain assessed and co-occurring neurodevelopmental diagnoses. EF task performance across multiple domains and everyday function of autistic adults (n = 110) was significantly different to age- and IQ-matched controls (n = 31). Although significantly more likely to fall into the clinically impaired range, 35.8% of the ASD group showed no impairment on EF measures. Factor analysis revealed a single unifying EF construct rather than a selective pattern of impairment. Dysexecutive behaviours were frequently reported in the ASD group, unrelated to Autism symptoms, EF task performance or co-occurring conditions. This study suggests autistic adults can experience clinically significant executive function difficulties and co-occuring dysexecutive behaviours that are disabling in everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4181-4192
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume49
Issue number10
Early online date8 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Dysexecutive syndrome
  • Executive function
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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