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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Associations of Parent-Child Psychosocial Informant Discrepancy in Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

  • Author(s): Kapp, Steven Kenneth
  • Advisor(s): Wood, Jeffrey J
  • et al.

People on the autism spectrum tend to report higher psychosocial competence than their parents attribute to them, but previous research has not uncovered the reasons for these discrepancies. In this study autistic young adults and their parents both completed questionnaires rating the young adults' psychosocial functioning, including autistic traits, empathy, and social skills. Parent-child informant discrepancy on these measures was tested using paired sample t-tests; Pearson's correlations of significant differences were performed to test for the differences' associations with other variables. Young adults reported greater skills on all common measures, predicted by self-reported self-presentational skills and parent-reported externalizing behaviors and low social awareness for the autistic traits and empathy discrepancies, and self-reported self-control for the social skills discrepancy. Parent-child differences may result from the young adults' low self-awareness and less adaptive behavior in family contexts, and parents' stress, suggesting need for respective growth in developmental and parenting skills.

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