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Atypical Development of Attentional Control Associates with Later Adaptive Functioning, Autism and ADHD Traits

Authors
  • Hendry, Alexandra1, 2
  • Jones, Emily J. H.3
  • Bedford, Rachael2
  • Andersson Konke, Linn4
  • Begum Ali, Jannath3
  • Bӧlte, Sven5, 6
  • Brocki, Karin C.4
  • Demurie, Ellen7
  • Johnson, Mark3, 8
  • Pijl, Mirjam K. J.9
  • Roeyers, Herbert7
  • Charman, Tony2
  • Achermann, Sheila
  • Agyapong, Mary
  • Astenvald, Rebecka
  • Axelson, Lisa
  • Bazelmans, Tessel
  • Blommers, Karlijn
  • Bontinck, Chloè
  • van den Boomen, Carlijn
  • And 36 more
  • 1 University of Oxford,
  • 2 King’s College London,
  • 3 University of London,
  • 4 Uppsala University,
  • 5 Stockholm Health Care Services,
  • 6 Curtin University,
  • 7 Ghent University,
  • 8 University of Cambridge,
  • 9 Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Centre,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Mar 27, 2020
Volume
50
Issue
11
Pages
4085–4105
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-020-04465-9
PMID: 32221749
PMCID: PMC7557503
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Autism is frequently associated with difficulties with top-down attentional control, which impact on individuals’ mental health and quality of life. The developmental processes involved in these attentional difficulties are not well understood. Using a data-driven approach, 2 samples ( N = 294 and 412) of infants at elevated and typical likelihood of autism were grouped according to profiles of parent report of attention at 10, 15 and 25 months. In contrast to the normative profile of increases in attentional control scores between infancy and toddlerhood, a minority (7–9%) showed plateauing attentional control scores between 10 and 25 months. Consistent with pre-registered hypotheses, plateaued growth of attentional control was associated with elevated autism and ADHD traits, and lower adaptive functioning at age 3 years. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s10803-020-04465-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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