Temperament as a predictor of symptomotology and adaptive functioning in adolescents with high-functioning autism

Caley B. Schwartz, Heather A. Henderson, Anne P. Inge, Nicole E. Zahka, Drew C. Coman, Nicole M. Kojkowski, Camilla M. Hileman, Peter Clive Mundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Variation in temperament is characteristic of all people but is rarely studied as a predictor of individual differences among individuals with autism. Relative to a matched comparison sample, adolescents with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) reported lower levels of Surgency and higher levels of Negative Affectivity. Variability in temperament predicted symptomotology, social skills, and social-emotional outcomes differently for individuals with HFA than for the comparison sample. This study is unique in that temperament was measured by self-report, while all outcome measures were reported by parents. The broader implications of this study suggest that by identifying individual variability in constructs, such as temperament, that may influence adaptive functioning, interventions may be developed to target these constructs and increase the likelihood that individuals with HFA will achieve more adaptive life outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-855
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009



  • High-functioning autism
  • Social emotional functioning
  • Social skills
  • Symptomology
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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