[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anxiety is a problem for many children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). There is a paucity of models of the cognitive processes underlying this. Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) has utility in explaining anxiety in neurotypical populations but has only recently received attention in ASD. We modelled the relationship between anxiety and IU in ASD and a typically developing comparison group, using parent and child self-report measures. Results confirmed significant relationships between IU and anxiety in children with ASD which appears to function similarly in children with and without ASD. Results were consistent with a causal model suggesting that IU mediates the relationship between ASD and anxiety. The findings confirm IU as a relevant construct in ASD.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The developmental disorder Williams syndrome (WS) is characterised by a distinctive cognitive profile and an intriguing social phenotype. Individuals with the disorder are often highly social engaging with familiar and unfamiliar people and once in an interaction they often show subtle abnormalities of social behaviour. Atypically increased approach to unfamiliar people is widely reported in the existing literature for both children and adults. Parents frequently report interactions with unfamiliar people as a major concern. METHODS: In this study we aimed to evaluate 'stranger danger' awareness using a video vignette task with individuals who had WS. When linked to other components of the WS phenotype (e.g. reduced intellectual ability, increased social approach) an awareness of stranger danger is particularly important. RESULTS: Qualitative and quantitative data showed that young people with WS have difficulties making judgements about whether or not to trust and engage in conversation with unfamiliar people. Qualitative data showed that individuals with WS often suggested that they would engage in an interaction with an unfamiliar person. CONCLUSIONS: The findings have substantial implications for the safety of young people with the disorder and emphasise the need for intervention regarding this behaviour.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 05/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper addresses whether eco-driving may be encouraged by providing drivers with feedback, and how eco-driving attitudes fit with other environmental attitudes. Eight focus groups, including fleet drivers, discussed how feedback and other motives might affect driving behaviour. A survey of 350 respondents investigated attitudes towards saving fuel, the role of incentives and use of eco-friendly products. The focus groups' findings show that the environment is a lower priority than comfort and convenience, that feedback might provide a stimulus to eco-driving and that saving money was less important than saving time. The attitude survey showed that price, convenience, attitudes and eco-driving are not conceptually linked together, that convenience is rated as more important than saving money from fuel efficiency and that although the environment is of concern, it is not a high enough priority to increase fuel efficiency. The findings are discussed in relation to the low level of priority given to environmental concerns and the inability of financial incentives presenting significant challenges in terms of changing the subjective norms of the majority of drivers. Practitioner summary: This paper, using focus groups and a questionnaire, aims to understand how feedback devices, attitudes and motivation can improve eco-driving behaviours. The incentive to save money by better fuel economy was found to be insufficient, and roles for feedback devices and how information is presented are identified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The developmental disorder of Williams syndrome (WS) is associated with an overfriendly personality type, including an increased tendency to approach strangers. This atypical social approach behaviour (SAB) has been linked to two potential theories: the amygdala hypothesis and the frontal lobe hypothesis. The current study aimed to investigate heterogeneity of SAB in WS by exploring whether subgroups of SAB profiles could be identified using cluster analytic techniques. Twenty-five children with WS aged 6-15 years completed three behavioural tasks tapping (i) social approach behaviour, (ii) emotion recognition ability and (iii) response inhibition. Cluster analyses revealed preliminary evidence of WS subgroups based on SAB profiles and indicated that response inhibition ability was the key differentiating variable between SAB cluster profiles. The findings provide tentative support for the frontal lobe hypothesis of SAB in WS and highlight the importance of investigating SAB at a heterogeneous level.
Research in developmental disabilities 01/2013; 34(3):959-967.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of breakfast consumption on cognitive performance and mood in adolescents, and any interaction that breakfast consumption might have with cognitive load. The rationale for this approach was that the beneficial effects of any intervention with regard to cognitive function may be more readily apparent when more demands are placed on the system. Furthermore, as skipping breakfast is particularly prevalent within this age group, thus, we focused on adolescents who habitually skip breakfast. Cognitive load was modulated by varying the level of difficulty of a series of cognitive tasks tapping memory, attention, and executive functions. Mood measured with Bond-Lader scales (1974) as well as measures of thirst, hunger, and satiety were recorded at each test session both at baseline and after the completion of each test battery. Forty adolescents (mean age = 14:2) participated in this within-subjects design study. According to treatment, all participants were tested before and after the intake of a low Glycaemic index breakfast (i.e., a 35 g portion of AllBran and 125 ml semi-skimmed milk) and before and after no breakfast consumption. Assessment time had two levels: 8.00 am (baseline) and 10.45 am. The orders of cognitive load tasks were counterbalanced. Overall it appeared that following breakfast participants felt more alert, satiated, and content. Following breakfast consumption, there was evidence for improved cognitive performance across the school morning compared to breakfast omission in some tasks (e.g., Hard Word Recall, Serial 3's and Serial 7's). However, whilst participants performance on the hard version of each cognitive task was significantly poorer compared to the corresponding easy version, there was limited evidence to support the hypothesis that the effect of breakfast was greater in the more demanding versions of the tasks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study explored the relationship between sensory processing abnormalities and repetitive behaviours in children with Williams Syndrome (WS; n = 21). This is a novel investigation bringing together two clinical phenomena for the first time in this neuro-developmental disorder. Parents completed the Sensory Profile (Short Form; Dunn in The sensory profile manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation, 1999) and the Repetitive Behaviour Questionnaire (Turner 1995). A significant correlation was evident between the total scores on each of these measures; suggesting that children with WS who exhibit increased sensory processing abnormalities also display a higher number of repetitive behaviours. Further exploratory analyses of subscales of the measures indicated potentially important relationships that suggest a role for arousal regulation in the relationship between sensory processing abnormalities and repetitive behaviours in WS.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 06/2012;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Study Type - Aetiology (case series) Level of Evidence 4 What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? The factors taken into consideration when determining when and where to void are poorly understood. Studies on bladder sensations, obtained during cystometry of from voiding diaries, are proving difficult to transfer to everyday experiences. There is therefore a need to explore what does influence when and where to void. This study, using focus groups, highlights the fact that many voids are driven by behavioural factors not by sensations of desire or need to void. It is further noted that a key factor in the final decision to void is an awareness of bladder volume. The concepts of 'cognitive voiding' informed by 'bladder awareness' are introduced and, if correct, will influence the way studies are devised and interpreted to explore lower urinary tract dysfunction and pharmacotherapy. OBJECTIVE • To investigate the inter-relationship between conscious decision-making processes and bladder sensation in determining the need, time and place to void SUBJECTS AND METHODS: • The approach used interview focus groups and qualitative thematic analysis. In this preliminary study, 25 women were included (aged 21-90 years) meeting in groups of one to five on four occasions. RESULTS: • The thematic analysis yielded six themes: temporal and cognitive maps, risk issues, habituation and opportunistic behaviour and awareness of the bladder. • For most voids, the decision to void was not based on sensation but determined by multiple factors: personal knowledge of time of last void, anticipated time to next void, proximity of toilets, a risk assessment or habituated behaviour. • As the bladder filled the subjects described an increasing awareness of their bladder. Such sensations were not immediately associated with desire to void. Rather, these sensations were described as influencing the cognitive processes of considering when and where to void. • A sub-group of subjects reported little awareness as their bladder filled, experiencing only sudden strong sensations that needed immediate action for fear of leakage. CONCLUSIONS: • The decision to void is primarily a cognitive process influenced by multiple elements of which bladder awareness is only one. • Mechanisms generating awareness may be intensified or lost reflecting possible different pathological states. The importance of these observations in relation to current views of normal and abnormal voiding is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Clinical supervision plays an essential role in the development of mental health professionals and is increasingly viewed as a discrete professional specialization. However, research has rarely addressed core issues such as the measurement and manipulation of clinical supervision, so there are very few direct comparisons between the different supervision methods. Aims: To operationalize two related approaches, cognitive-behavioural (CBT) and evidence-based clinical supervision (EBCS), demonstrate their fidelity, and then evaluate their relative effectiveness in facilitating the experiential learning of one supervisee. Method: Within a multiple-baseline, N = 1 design, we rated audiotapes of supervision on a competence rating scale. Results: Findings generally favoured the EBCS approach, which was associated with higher fidelity by the supervisor and increased engagement in experiential learning by the supervisee. Conclusions: This preliminary but novel evaluation indicated that CBT supervision could be enhanced. Implications follow for supervisor training and a more rigorous N = 1 evaluation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During face-to-face questioning, typically developing children and adults use gaze aversion (GA), away from their questioner, when thinking. GA increases with question difficulty and improves the accuracy of responses. This is the first study to investigate whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; associated with reduced sociability and atypical face gaze) and Williams syndrome (WS; associated with hypersociability and atypical face gaze) use GA to manage cognitive load during face-to-face interactions.
Two studies were conducted exploring the typicality of GA during face-to-face questioning in (a) ASD and (b) WS.
In Study 1, children with ASD increased their GA as question difficulty increased. In addition, they used most GA when thinking about their responses to questions, mirroring evidence from typically developing children. An important atypicality for participants with ASD was a significantly higher level of GA when listening to interlocutors. In Study 2, participants with WS showed typical patterns of GA in relation to question difficulty and across different points of the interaction.
Two different neuro-developmental disorders, both characterized by significant problems with executive control of attention and atypicalities of social interactions, exhibited generally typical patterns of GA. All groups used most GA while thinking about questions, and increased their GA as questions got harder. In addition, children with ASD showed elevated levels of GA while listening to questions, but not while thinking about or making their responses, suggesting that they sometimes fail to see the relevance of attending to visual cues rather than actively avoiding them. Results have important implications for how professionals interpret GA in these populations and for social skills training.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 04/2012; 53(4):420-30.
Information provided on this web page is aggregated encyclopedic and bibliographical information relating to the named institution. Information provided is not approved by the institution itself. The institution’s logo (and/or other graphical identification, such as a coat of arms) is used only to identify the institution in a nominal way. Under certain jurisdictions it may be property of the institution.