Interests in high-functioning autism are more intense, interfering, and idiosyncratic than those in neurotypical development.

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TitleInterests in high-functioning autism are more intense, interfering, and idiosyncratic than those in neurotypical development.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsAnthony, LGutermuth, Kenworthy, L, Yerys, BE, Jankowski, KF, James, JD, Harms, MB, Martin, A, Wallace, GL
JournalDev Psychopathol
Volume25
Issue3
Pagination643-52
Date Published2013 Aug
ISSN1469-2198
KeywordsAdolescent, Child, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Executive Function, Humans, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Recreation, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult
Abstract

Although circumscribed interests are pathognomonic with autism, much about these interests remains unknown. Using the Interests Scale (IS), this study compares interests between 76 neurotypical (NT) individuals and 109 individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) matched groupwise on age, IQ, and gender ratio. Participants and their parents/caregivers completed diagnostic measures (the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; HF-ASD only), cognitive tests (Wechsler IQ Scales), and questionnaires (the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, and the Social Responsiveness Scale), in addition to the IS. Consistent with previous research, HF-ASD and NT individuals did not differ in number of interest areas, but the types of interests and intensity of those interests differed considerably. Using only the IS intensity score, 81% of individuals were correctly classified (NT or HF-ASD) in a logistic regression analysis. Among individuals with HF-ASD, Interests Scale scores were significantly related to Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised, and Social Responsiveness Scale scores, but they were not related to Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised scores, IQ, gender, age, or psychotropic medication use. The type and intensity, but not the number, of interests distinguish high-functioning individuals with ASD from NT individuals.

DOI10.1017/S0954579413000072
Alternate JournalDev. Psychopathol.
PubMed ID23880382
PubMed Central IDPMC4543385
Grant ListZ99 MH999999 / / Intramural NIH HHS / United States
R34 MH083053 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
U54 MH066417 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P30 HD040677 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
K23 MH086111 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
5K23MH086111 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P30HD40677 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States