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Estudo de genes candidatos aos Transtornos do Espectro Autista; Study of candidate genes to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Ribeiro, Cintia Marques
Fonte: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP Publicador: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 07/06/2013 PT
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Os transtornos do espectro autista (TEA) são condições neuropsiquiátricas caracterizadas por padrões comportamentais estereotipados, ausência ou limitação de comunicação verbal e de interação social recíproca. Diversos estudos têm mostrado que esses transtornos possuem etiologia genética complexa e heterogênea, o que dificulta a identificação dos fatores causais. Estima-se que cerca de 70% dos casos de TEA são idiopáticos. Portanto, com o objetivo de identificar mecanismos etiológicos associados aos TEA, utilizamos as seguintes estratégias: customização de uma lâmina de microarray CGH que possibilite a detecção não só de grandes CNVs, mas também de alterações menores do que 10 kbp, em exons e regiões UTR de genes potencialmente candidatos; a comparação entre os tipos de rearranjos detectados em pacientes sindrômicos e em não sindrômicos e, ainda, a investigação mais detalhada de uma família com indivíduos portadores de transtorno autista e síndrome de Asperger. Foram avaliados 103 portadores de TEA não sindrômicos e 18 sindrômicos, sendo as taxas de detecção de alterações potencialmente patogênicas, respectivamente, de 11,6% e 38,9%. Dentre as alterações detectadas 44,4% são menores do que 10 Kbp. Portanto...

Correlação entre a oralidade de crianças com distúrbios do espectro do autismo e o nível de estresse de seus pais; Correlation between verbal communication of children with autism spectrum disorders and the level stress of their parents

Segeren, Leticia
Fonte: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP Publicador: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP
Tipo: Dissertação de Mestrado Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 20/03/2015 PT
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O Distúrbio do Espectro do Autismo caracteriza-se como uma síndrome comportamental complexa, que compromete o processo do desenvolvimento ao longo da vida, ocorrendo uma grande variabilidade na intensidade e forma de expressão da sintomatologia, nas áreas que definem o seu diagnóstico. Pessoas com autismo necessitam de atenção especial durante toda a vida e é necessário voltar a atenção também para cuidador. O estresse parental da família de uma criança com autismo é significantemente maior do que o observado em famílias de crianças com desenvolvimento típico ou outras deficiências. A comunicação é um aspecto especialmente afetado nos quadros de autismo e pode ser potencializadora do estresse, sendo uma das primeiras preocupações dos pais. Assim foi indagado se, com relação à comunicação, o fato do filho com autismo não usar alguma fala para se comunicar teria relação com o aumento do nível de estresse dos pais. O Objetivo deste estudo foi investigar o nível de estresse de pais de crianças com autismo, verificando sua associação com a ausência de oralidade na comunicação de seus filhos. Participaram dessa pesquisa os pais de 75 crianças com autismo e pais de 100 crianças sem nenhuma queixa quanto ao desenvolvimento...

Subtelomeric region of chromosome 2 in patients with autism spectrum disorders

Barbosa-Gonçalves, A.; Vendrame-Goloni, C. B.; Martins, A. L B; Fett-Conte, A. C.
Fonte: Universidade Estadual Paulista Publicador: Universidade Estadual Paulista
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: 527-533
ENG
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Autism spectrum disorders are severe psychiatric diseases commonly identified in the population. They are diagnosed during childhood and the etiology has been much debated due to their variations and complexity. Onset is early and characterized as communication and social interaction disorders and as repetitive and stereotyped behavior. Austistic disorders may occur together with various genetic and chromosomal diseases. Several chromosomal regions and genes are implicated in the predisposition for these diseases, in particular those with products expressed in the central nervous system. There are reports of autistic and mentally handicapped patients with submicroscopic subtelomeric alterations at the distal end of the long arm of chromosome 2. Additionally, there is evidence that alterations at 2q37 cause brain malformations that result in the autistic phenotype. These alterations are very small and not identified by routine cytogenetics to which patients are normally submitted, which may result in an underestimation of the diagnosis. This study aimed at evaluating the 2q37 region in patients with autistic disorders. Twenty patients were studied utilizing the fluorescence in situ hybridization technique with a specific probe for 2q37. All of them were also studied by the GTC banding technique to identify possible chromosomal diseases. No alterations were observed in the 2q37 region of the individuals studied...

The eye-tracking of social stimuli in patients with Rett syndrome and autism spectrum disorders: a pilot study

Schwartzman,José Salomão; Velloso,Renata de Lima; D’Antino,Maria Eloísa Famá; Santos,Silvana
Fonte: Academia Brasileira de Neurologia - ABNEURO Publicador: Academia Brasileira de Neurologia - ABNEURO
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/05/2015 EN
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Objective To compare visual fixation at social stimuli in Rett syndrome (RT) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) patients. Method Visual fixation at social stimuli was analyzed in 14 RS female patients (age range 4-30 years), 11 ASD male patients (age range 4-20 years), and 17 children with typical development (TD). Patients were exposed to three different pictures (two of human faces and one with social and non-social stimuli) presented for 8 seconds each on the screen of a computer attached to an eye-tracker equipment. Results Percentage of visual fixation at social stimuli was significantly higher in the RS group compared to ASD and even to TD groups. Conclusion Visual fixation at social stimuli seems to be one more endophenotype making RS to be very different from ASD.

Short-chain fatty acid fermentation products of the gut microbiome: implications in autism spectrum disorders

MacFabe, Derrick F.
Fonte: Co-Action Publishing Publicador: Co-Action Publishing
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 24/08/2012 EN
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Recent evidence suggests potential, but unproven, links between dietary, metabolic, infective, and gastrointestinal factors and the behavioral exacerbations and remissions of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Propionic acid (PPA) and its related short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are fermentation products of ASD-associated bacteria (Clostridia, Bacteriodetes, Desulfovibrio). SCFAs represent a group of compounds derived from the host microbiome that are plausibly linked to ASDs and can induce widespread effects on gut, brain, and behavior. Intraventricular administration of PPA and SCFAs in rats induces abnormal motor movements, repetitive interests, electrographic changes, cognitive deficits, perseveration, and impaired social interactions. The brain tissue of PPA-treated rats shows a number of ASD-linked neurochemical changes, including innate neuroinflammation, increased oxidative stress, glutathione depletion, and altered phospholipid/acylcarnitine profiles. These directly or indirectly contribute to acquired mitochondrial dysfunction via impairment in carnitine-dependent pathways, consistent with findings in patients with ASDs. Of note, common antibiotics may impair carnitine-dependent processes by altering gut flora favoring PPA-producing bacteria and by directly inhibiting carnitine transport across the gut. Human populations that are partial metabolizers of PPA are more common than previously thought. PPA has further bioactive effects on neurotransmitter systems...

A Comprehensive Survey of Current and Former College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Gelbar, Nicholas W.; Shefcyk, Allison; Reichow, Brian
Fonte: YJBM Publicador: YJBM
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 04/03/2015 EN
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Background: There is a paucity of research concerning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) pursuing higher education.

Gender Identity and Autism Spectrum Disorders

van Schalkwyk, Gerrit I.; Klingensmith, Katherine; Volkmar, Fred R.
Fonte: YJBM Publicador: YJBM
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 04/03/2015 EN
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In this review, we briefly summarize much of the existing literature on gender-related concerns and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), drawing attention to critical shortcomings in our current understanding and potential clinical implications. Some authors have concluded that gender identity disorder (GID), or gender dysphoria (GD), is more common in individuals with ASD, providing a range of potential explanations. However, existing literature is quantitatively limited, and our capacity to draw conclusions is further complicated by conceptual challenges regarding how gender identity is best understood. Discourses that emphasize gender as a component of identity formation are gaining prominence and seem particularly salient when applied to ASD. Individuals with ASD should enjoy equal rights with regard to treatment for gender dysphoria. Clinicians may be able to assist individuals in understanding this aspect of their identity by broadening the social frame and facilitating an exploration of gender roles.

The association between self-injurious behaviors and autism spectrum disorders

Minshawi, Noha F; Hurwitz, Sarah; Fodstad, Jill C; Biebl, Sara; Morriss, Danielle H; McDougle, Christopher J
Fonte: Dove Medical Press Publicador: Dove Medical Press
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
EN_US
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A key area of concern in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are self-injurious behaviors (SIBs). These are behaviors that an individual engages in that may cause physical harm, such as head banging, or self-biting. SIBs are more common in children with ASD than those who are typically developing or have other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Therefore, it is important that clinicians who work with children with ASD have a solid understanding of SIB. The purpose of this paper is to review the research on the epidemiology of SIB in children with ASD, factors that predict the presence of SIB in this population, and the empirically supported behavioral treatments available.

A comparison of functional behaviour assessment rating scales in a sample of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders

Maire, Lisa K.
Fonte: Brock University Publicador: Brock University
Tipo: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
ENG
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This study sought to compare the results of the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS; Durand & Crimmins, 1988), Questions About Behavior Function Scale (QABF; Matson & Vollmer, 1996) and Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST; Iwata & Deleon, 1996), when completed by parent informants in a sample of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who display challenging behaviour. Results indicated that there was low agreement between the functional hypotheses derived from each of three measures. In addition, correlations between functionally analogous scales were substantially lower than expected, while correlations between non-analogous subscales were stronger than anticipated. As indicated by this study, clinicians choosing to use FBA questionnaires to assess behavioural function, may not obtain accurate functional hypotheses, potentially resulting in ineffective intervention plans. The current study underscores the caution that must be taken when asking parents to complete these questionnaires to determine the function(s) of challenging behaviour for children/youth with ASD.

Avaliação diferencial e intervenção no espectro do autismo: a complementaridade de pais e profissionais; Differential assessment and intervention in the autism spectrum disorders: the complementarity of parents and professionals

Reis, Helena Isabel da Silva
Fonte: Universidade do Minho Publicador: Universidade do Minho
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado
Publicado em 24/07/2014 POR
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Tese de doutoramento em Estudos da Criança (ramo do conhecimento em Educação Especial); As perturbações do espectro do autismo (PEA) são caracterizadas por uma tríade de dificuldades ao nível da interação, comunicação e interesses reduzidos mas nos últimos anos, a investigação também tem dado particular relevância às alterações do Processamento Sensorial nestas crianças, referindo que entre 42% a 96% das crianças com PEA apresentam este tipo de disfunção. É neste contexto que se insere a presente investigação onde se pretende construir um instrumento que avalie a tradicional tríade que caracteriza as crianças com PEA (Interação, Comunicação e Comportamento e Interesses), enriquecendo essa avaliação com a inclusão de um novo domínio: o Processamento Sensorial. Dada a exiguidade de instrumentos de avaliação validados para esta população, o objetivo geral da tese centra-se na construção, adaptação e validação de um instrumento de avaliação e intervenção para crianças com PEA na faixa etária 3-6 anos. Apresentam-se os procedimentos e os resultados das sucessivas fases de construção do instrumento, os estudos iniciais junto de pais, profissionais e especialistas no sentido da compreensão dos itens e da sua relevância na avaliação das diversas dimensões da escala. Depois desta fase...

Affective robotics for socio-emotional development in children with autism spectrum disorders

Costa, Sandra Cristina Cunha
Fonte: Universidade do Minho Publicador: Universidade do Minho
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado
Publicado em 19/12/2014 ENG
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Tese de doutoramento do Programa Doutoral em Engenharia Eletrónica e de Computadores; Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of complex developmental disorders of the brain. Individuals affected by this disorder are characterized by repetitive patterns of behaviour, restricted activities or interests, and impairments in social communication. The use of robots had already been proven to encourage the promotion of social interaction and skills lacking in children with ASD. The main goal of this thesis is to study the influence of humanoid robots to develop socio-emotional skills in children with ASD. The investigation demonstrates the potential benefits a robotic tool provides to attract the attention of children with ASD, and therefore use that focus to develop further skills. The main focus of this thesis is divided into three topics. The first topic concerns the use of a robot to encourage learning appropriate physical social engagement, and to facilitate the ability to acquire knowledge about human body parts. The results show that the robot proved to be a useful tool, attracting the children’s attention and improving their knowledge about human body parts. The second topic regards the process of designing game scenarios to be used with children with ASD...

Cognitive deficit and autism spectrum disorders: prospective diagnosis by array CGH

Nicholl, J.; Waters, W.; Mulley, J.C.; Suwalski, S.; Brown, S.; Hull, Y.; Barnett, C.; Haan, E.; Thompson, E.M.; Liebelt, J.; Mcgregor, L.; Harbord, M.G.; Entwistle, J.; Munt, C.; White, D.; Chitti, A.; Baulderstone, D.; Ketteridge, D.; Array Referral Con
Fonte: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publicador: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em //2014 EN
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The aim of this study was to determine prospectively the frequency of pathogenic chromosomal microdeletions and microduplications in a large group of referred patients with developmental delay (DD), intellectual disability (ID) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) within a genetic diagnostic service. First tier testing was applied using a standardised oligo-array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) platform, replacing conventional cytogenetic testing that would have been used in the past. Copy number variants (CNVs) found to be responsible for the clinical condition on the request form could all be subdivided into three groups: well established pathogenic microdeletion/microduplication/aneuploidy syndromes, predicted pathogenic CNVs as interpreted by the laboratory, and recently established pathogenic disease susceptibility CNVs. Totalled from these three groups, with CNVs of uncertain significance excluded, detection rates were: DD (13.0%), ID (15.6%), ASD (2.3%), ASD with DD (8.2%), ASD with ID (12.7%) and unexplained epilepsy with DD, ID and ASD (10.9%). The greater diagnostic sensitivity arising from routine application of array CGH, compared with previously used conventional cytogenetics, outweighs the interpretative issues for the reporting laboratory and referring clinician arising from detection of CNVs of uncertain significance. Precise determination of any previously hidden molecular defect responsible for the patient's condition is translated to improved genetic counselling.; Jillian Nicholl...

Genomic Rearrangements in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identification of Novel Candidate Genes

Malenfant, Patrick
Fonte: Quens University Publicador: Quens University
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 1059565 bytes; application/pdf
EN; EN
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There is evidence from family studies for the importance of genetic factors in the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) but the identification of major genes has not been achieved to date. There are several reports of deletions and duplications in individuals with ASDs, some of which are not unique to an individual. In most cases, the frequencies and relevance of these abnormalities are unknown, as they have been identified serendipitously in one or a few individuals. My overall hypothesis was that such rearrangements would facilitate the identification of “culprit” genes associated with ASDs by identifying a small chromosomal region for candidate gene testing. I molecularly characterized two overlapping 2p15-2p16.1 deletions detected in unrelated individuals with confirmed autistic disorder (Subject 1) or autistic features (Subject 2), a 1.4Mb deletion on chromosome Xp22 (Subject 1) and a duplication of chromosome 7q11.23, reciprocal to the Williams-Beuren Syndrome (WBS) deletion, in one individual with an ASD (Subject 3). Using real-time semi-quantitative PCR, I screened a total of 798 individuals with an ASD and 186 healthy controls for the presence of similar abnormalities. No additional cases were identified in either group. Subsequently...

Early Social Behaviour in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Best, LAURA
Fonte: Quens University Publicador: Quens University
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado
EN; EN
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The current studies addressed two questions regarding early social behaviour in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) that have not yet been directly explored. In Study 1 we examined the hypothesis that impaired imitation in this group may reflect a diminished social motivation to engage, rather than a core deficit in imitation. Young children with and without ASD engaged in imitation tasks during which controlled manipulations of reward (social and non-social) were administered for target behaviours. Children with ASD displayed increased levels of imitation with the incentive of an external reward in comparison to when this reward was absent. There was no differential impact of social versus non-social rewards. Typically developing (TD) children performed similarly, irrespective of whether or not reward was administered. We suggest that young children with ASD may be capable of imitating when appropriate incentives are present. Study 2 explored the breadth of social challenges faced in young children with ASD by examining a later-developing domain of social functioning that may be compromised by early social difficulties. We explored the tendency of children with ASD to engage in helping, sharing, and comforting behaviour in situations where the need for the prosocial behaviour was displayed and in perceptually similar situations where the need was absent. Children with ASD displayed low levels of helping and sharing...

The role of dopamine-related genes in autism spectrum disorders: Evidence for specific genes and risk for ASD in families with affected males

Hettinger, Joseph Alan
Fonte: Quens University Publicador: Quens University
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 979781 bytes; application/pdf
EN; EN
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Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are impaired in cognitive processes and emotional regulation, and exhibit stereotyped behaviours. Dopamine (DA) modulates executive functions, learning, memory, emotional processing and social cognition; all of which are impaired in individuals with ASDs. Because DA modulates a number of processes that are impaired in individuals with ASDs, genes in the dopaminergic pathway are good candidates for genes influencing autistic behaviours. As our previous findings suggested a role for a dopamine-related gene in families with only affected males, this thesis describes a comprehensive study of five genes affecting DA synthesis, levels and function in mothers and affected males with ASDs in an initial TEST cohort of 112 male-only affected sib-pair families as well as a replication study in three additional male-only family cohorts. I genotyped three to five polymorphisms in the TH, SLC6A3, DRD1, DRD2 and PPP1R1B genes and performed population-based single marker case-control comparisons, family-based association tests, quantitative transmission disequilibrium tests as well as haplotype-based analyses and tests for gene-gene interactions. I found evidence for association of the DRD1 (P=0.0027-0.040)...

Support Groups for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Predictors and Effects of Involvement

Clifford, Tessen
Fonte: Quens University Publicador: Quens University
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado
EN; EN
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Support groups are an effective source of support in a number of populations (e.g., Beaudoin & Tao, 2007; Preyde & Ardal, 2003; Singer, et al., 1999). Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a particularly stressed group who can benefit from support (Blacher & McIntyre, 2006). These studies investigated: 1) predictors of participation in support groups for parents of children with ASD and 2) the effects of participation in an online support group for these parents. One hundred seventy-eight parents completed a series of online questionnaires measuring their beliefs about support groups and ASD, coping style, social support, mood, parenting stress, and their child’s autistic symptoms and daily functioning. Parents who were currently using parent support groups (PSGs) reported using more adaptive coping strategies than both parents who had never used PSGs and parents who had used PSGs in the past. Parents who had used PSGs in the past reported that they did not find the groups as beneficial as parents who were currently using them, and parents who had never participated in PSGs reported several issues with accessibility that made it difficult to participate in PSGs. A smaller group of parents (n = 36), who had participated in the first study...

A Psychophysical Assessment of Multisensory Processing and Multiple Object Tracking in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Hahler, Eva-Maria
Fonte: Université de Montréal Publicador: Université de Montréal
Tipo: Thèse ou Mémoire numérique / Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
EN
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Les troubles du spectre autistique (TSA) sont actuellement caractérisés par une triade d'altérations, incluant un dysfonctionnement social, des déficits de communication et des comportements répétitifs. L'intégration simultanée de multiples sens est cruciale dans la vie quotidienne puisqu'elle permet la création d'un percept unifié. De façon similaire, l'allocation d'attention à de multiples stimuli simultanés est critique pour le traitement de l'information environnementale dynamique. Dans l'interaction quotidienne avec l'environnement, le traitement sensoriel et les fonctions attentionnelles sont des composantes de base dans le développement typique (DT). Bien qu'ils ne fassent pas partie des critères diagnostiques actuels, les difficultés dans les fonctions attentionnelles et le traitement sensoriel sont très courants parmi les personnes autistes. Pour cela, la présente thèse évalue ces fonctions dans deux études séparées. La première étude est fondée sur la prémisse que des altérations dans le traitement sensoriel de base pourraient être à l'origine des comportements sensoriels atypiques chez les TSA, tel que proposé par des théories actuelles des TSA. Nous avons conçu une tâche de discrimination de taille intermodale...

Assessment of anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders in the schools

Dasaro, Amy
Fonte: Rochester Instituto de Tecnologia Publicador: Rochester Instituto de Tecnologia
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado
EN_US
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This study surveyed school psychologists to explore rating scales being used to assess for in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in the school setting. Participants were randomly selected from the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) membership directory. For this sample, the most commonly used rating scales were the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2 (BASC-2; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2000) instruments for assessing anxiety in students with ASD. The BASC-2 instruments were reported to be most useful for screening compared to treatment planning, progress monitoring, and eligibility determination. Usefulness of the BASC-2 for parent and teacher scales were predicted by perceived skill in assessing for anxiety in the general population. Usefulness for parent, teacher, and youth self-report scales were predicted by perceived importance of the rating scales. In general, this sample was not well-trained for core features and assessing for Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBDs) in the ASD population. This study further emphasizes the importance of additional training and research for assessment of anxiety and other EBDs in the ASD population.

The 2D:4D ratio and its relationship with other androgenisation parameters in parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Romero-Martínez,Ángel; Andrés-García,Sara de; Sariñana-González,Patricia; Sanchis-Calatayud,M.V.; Roa,Juan M.; González-Bono,Esperanza; Moya-Albiol,L.
Fonte: Anales de Psicología Publicador: Anales de Psicología
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article; journal article; info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion Formato: text/html; application/pdf
Publicado em 01/01/2013 ENG
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The 2D:4D ratio is the quotient between the index and ring finger lengths and is a non-direct indicator of androgenisation. If prenatal testosterone levels in the amniotic fluid are high then the probability increases of developing lower ratio values. It has been suggested that people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their parents may have highly androgenised brains, and for this reason the 2D:4D ratio is used as a marker of such idiosyncrasies. This study aims to analyse if parents of people with ASD differ from the general population in several parameters of androgenisation related to the 2D:4D ratio. The sample was composed of 43 parents of offspring with ASD and 42 controls who had the 2D:4D ratio measured, answered several trait questionnaires, and had their testosterone and cortisol levels measured. Although there were no differences between groups in the 2D:4D ratio, the left hand of the ASD parents showed greater predictive ability to explain empathy and autism quotients, cooperative behaviour, and cortisol levels. In addition, the severity of the symptoms of their offspring was predicted only with male parents. The results indicate that the 2D:4D ratio could be used together with other parameters as an indicator of the likelihood of developing autistic traits in offspring.

A global model of stress in parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

Pozo,Pilar; Sarriá,Encarnación
Fonte: Anales de Psicología Publicador: Anales de Psicología
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article; journal article; info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion Formato: text/html; application/pdf
Publicado em 01/01/2014 ENG
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This research sought to analyse stress among mothers and fathers of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to determine the relevant variables for its explanation and the possible gender differences. To examine parents' stress, we propose a multidimensional model based on the Double ABCX theoretical model. We argue that the result of stress depends on the following four interrelated factors: the characteristics of the individual with ASD (the severity of the disorder and behaviour problems), the social supports, the parents' perception of the situation (evaluated by sense of coherence) and the coping strategies. Fiftynine sets of parents (59 mothers and 59 fathers) of individuals diagnosed with ASD participated in the study. The data were analysed using a path analysis through the LISREL 8.80 program. We obtained two empirical models of stress: one model for mothers and one for fathers. In both models, the severity of the disorder and the behaviour problems had a direct and positive effect on stress. The sense of coherence (SOC) and active avoidance coping strategies had a mediating role in models. Social support was relevant only for mothers. Finally, the results offer some guidelines for professionals working with families.