This study compared the executive function and theory-of-mind abilities of siblings of autistic individuals to those of siblings of learning-disabled controls. Three different analyses of the dependent measures provided convergent support for a potential subclinical marker in the executive function domain. No group differences in theory-of-mind abilities were found. However, power analyses revealed that the measures employed in this study, which are typically used with autistic individuals, were not sufficiently sensitive to detect any group differences that might exist in "unaffected" family members. Suggestions for future research are provided, including the need to develop more sensitive tasks that produce larger effects and measure more elementary cognitive operations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology