Robyn Young

Robyn Young
Flinders University · School of Psychology

About

94
Publications
33,230
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Introduction
Robyn Young currently works at the School of Psychology, Flinders University. Robyn does research in Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Developmental Psychology. Her research focus is 'Autism'; specifically autism and crime, ToM, female presentation, early detection
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
June 1995 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (94)
Article
Emotion recognition difficulties are considered to contribute to social‐communicative problems for autistic individuals and awareness of such difficulties may be critical for the identification and pursuit of strategies that will mitigate their adverse effects. We examined metacognitive awareness of face emotion recognition responses in autistic (N...
Article
Full-text available
Autistic adults often experience difficulties in taking the perspective of others, potentially undermining their social interactions. We evaluated a quick, forced-choice version of the Adult Theory of Mind (A-ToM) test, which was designed to assess such difficulties and comprehensively evaluated by Brewer et al. (2017). The forced-choice version (t...
Article
Behaviors such as gaze aversion and repetitive movements are commonly believed to be signs of deception and low credibility; however, they may also be characteristic of individuals with developmental or mental health conditions. We examined the effect of five behaviors that are common among autistic individuals—gaze aversion, repetitive movements,...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives We examined problematic eating behaviors among a sample of young autistic adults to better understand the purported relationship between autism and eating disorders. We hypothesized that autistic participants would score higher on measures of problematic eating behavior compared to a non-autistic comparison group, but that autistic parti...
Article
Emotion recognition difficulties are considered to contribute to social‐communicative problems for autistic individuals. Prior research has been dominated by a focus on forced‐choice recognition response accuracy for static face presentations of basic emotions, often involving small samples. Using free‐report and multiple‐choice response formats, w...
Article
Full-text available
This study provided preliminary validation of the Autism Detection in Early Childhood-Virtual (ADEC-V) for telehealth assessment of possible autism. Participants were 121 children (24.79% female) aged 18–47 months who completed telehealth evaluations at a large pediatric hospital in the Midwestern United States between October 2020 and February 202...
Article
Full-text available
We hypothesized that autistic adults may be erroneously judged as deceptive or lacking credibility due to demonstrating unexpected and atypical behaviors. Thirty autistic and 29 neurotypical individuals participated in video-recorded interviews, and we measured their demonstration of gaze aversion, repetitive body movements, literal interpretation...
Article
Evaluations of early screening tests for autism commonly rely on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and comparisons of area under the curve (AUC). Whether AUC differs significantly from chance or between test items is not always assessed. Two recent and independent evaluations of the Brief Autism Detection in Early Childhood (BADEC) c...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of clinical judgement in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment, little is currently known about challenges faced by diagnosticians when the client is female, any sex/gender biases during the assessment process, and how these issues affect diagnostic outcomes. Forty-seven ASD diagnosticians completed a questionnaire contai...
Preprint
Verbal intelligence—which relates to memory performance, abstract reasoning, and g—is often important to account for within psychological research. However, the time demands and financial costs associated with researcher-administered testing using valid measures of intelligence limit researchers’ ability to include such measures within their resear...
Article
Use of psychotropic medicines such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anxiolytics is common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, very little is known about medicine use in adults with ASD. This pilot project aimed to describe medicines use in Australian adults with ASD. We conducted a retrospective analysis of mental healt...
Article
Full-text available
Growing evidence suggests that autistic females are more likely to be diagnostically overlooked than males, perhaps due to differences in ASD presentations (van Wijngaarden-Cremers in JAMA 44:627-635, 2014). To investigate specific behaviours in which differences lie, we analysed profiles of 777 children using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (Sch...
Article
Although people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not more likely to commit crimes, they are overrep-resented in the criminal justice system as reported by Howlin (Autism and Asperger syndrome: Preparing for adulthood, Routledge, 2004). This may, in part, be due to unfavourable interactions with the criminal judiciary. Evidence sugg...
Article
Full-text available
Reports of cybercrime being committed by people on the autism spectrum often imply that autism may be more prevalent among cybercriminals than the general population, although this remains unproven. In an online survey of 302 participants, we found that autistic individuals (n = 25) were more likely to report engagement in cybercrime than non-autis...
Article
According to expectancy violations theory, displays of behavior considered “unusual” during an interaction will trigger scrutiny of an individual. Such scrutiny may be detrimental in forensic contexts, where deception detection is emphasized. Autistic individuals, in particular, may be scrutinized unfavorably given unusual nonverbal behavior associ...
Chapter
The image of the non-verbal child, flapping and spinning, totally absorbed in their own obsessive interests, as described by Kanner (Nerv Child 2:217–250, 1943), represents the more traditional view of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the stereotypical behaviors that accompany this condition. However, with the revision of the Diagnostic and Stati...
Article
Full-text available
Early identification of autism, followed by appropriate intervention, has the potential to improve outcomes for autistic individuals. Numerous screening instruments have been developed for children under 3 years of age. Level 1 screeners are used in large-scale screening to detect at-risk children in the general population; Level 2 screeners are co...
Article
Study Objectives This study examines the relationship between experimentally manipulated sleep duration and mood in adolescents. Methods Thirty-four adolescents (20 male), aged 15 to 17 years, lived in a sleep laboratory for ten days and nine nights. They were allocated to one of three sleep “doses” for five consecutive nights for :5 hours’, 7.5 h...
Article
We examined whether perspective taking (or Theory of Mind) deficits that characterize autistic individuals predict whether they have trouble extricating themselves from situations in which police officers erroneously suspect them of a crime. Autistic and typically developing adults listened to scenarios in which they were placed in situations where...
Article
Brewer, Young, and Barnett reported a comprehensive psychometric evaluation of a new adult theory of mind measure (A-ToM) with a sample of high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) adults. Although correlations with existing theory of mind (ToM) instruments (i.e., the Strange Stories; the Frith- Happé animations) were reported, relationships...
Article
While autism spectrum disorder screening tools provide a useful resource for practitioners, the reality is they are underused. The justifications often provided include the time required for administration and the training involved. A brief tool with good psychometric properties that require minimal training is required. This study examined the dev...
Article
Although depression and anxiety are the most common comorbidities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), descriptive data for their prevalence among autistic adults are limited. This study provides descriptive data for a cohort of 155 autistic adults (mean age = 27.1 years, SD = 11.9) of average IQ on the short-form version of the Depr...
Article
Two studies examined whether deficits in theory of mind—the ability to understand and predict the intent, behaviors, and emotions of others—are related to slowness in recognizing that there is something suspicious about the way in which an interaction is unfolding. Participants listened to vignettes, some culminating in a crime, and indicated when...
Article
Full-text available
Deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM)—the ability to interpret others’ beliefs, intentions and emotions—undermine the ability of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to interact in socially normative ways. This study provides psychometric data for the Adult-Theory of Mind (A-ToM) measure using video-scenarios based in part on Happé’s (Instruc...
Article
Objective Screening for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an important first step in the identification of children considered at risk of developing the disorder and in need of further assessment, intervention, and services. In this paper, we reviewed some commonly used ASD-specific screening tools and focused on the use of an ASD-specific screenin...
Article
We examined whether media reports linking criminal behaviour and autism spectrum disorder foster negative attitudes towards individuals with autism spectrum disorder. In a between-subjects design, participants were exposed to (a) a media story in which a murderer was labelled with autism spectrum disorder (media exposure condition) or not labelled...
Article
Objective: To measure upper-extremity and gross motor skill development in infants with and without risk factors for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Method: Data were coded retrospectively from 39 infants who participated in longitudinal structured early developmental assessments. Twenty-five infants were at high risk for ASD, and the remaining...
Book
ull of case studies, this book explores the reasons behind adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) becoming involved in the criminal justice system. It discusses the establishment of intervention programs and calls for a review of forensic assessment for people with ASD.
Article
Full-text available
In the absence of intellectual impairment, girls are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder significantly less and later than boys. This study explored potential reasons for why autism spectrum disorder may be more difficult to identify in girls, based on carer concerns during the pre-diagnosis period. Carers of 92 boys and 60 girls diagnosed with...
Article
In the absence of intellectual impairment, girls are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) significantly less and later than boys. This study explored potential reasons for why ASD may be more difficult to identify in girls, based on carer concerns during the pre-diagnosis period. Carers of 92 boys and 60 girls diagnosed with ASD from schoo...
Article
Autism spectrum disorders are a set of neurodevelopmental disorders that are highly hereditable. Increased genomic instability has been observed in other heritable paediatric neurobiological disorders; therefore, the aim of our study was to test the hypothesis that DNA damage is increased in children with autism and that B vitamin status may explai...
Article
Despite the importance of theory of mind (ToM) for typical development, there remain 2 key issues affecting our ability to draw robust conclusions. One is the continued focus on false belief as the sole measure of ToM. The second is the lack of empirically validated measures of ToM as a broad construct. Our key aim was to examine the validity and r...
Article
Face identity recognition has widely been shown to be impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this study we examined the influence of inversion on face recognition in 26 adults with ASD and 33 age and IQ matched controls. Participants completed a recognition test comprising upright and inverted faces. Participants with ASD...
Article
Full-text available
In the absence of intellectual impairment autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed both less and later in females. This study used clinician and teacher report to explore sex differences in the behavioural presentation of 69 girls and 69 boys all diagnosed with high-functioning ASD. Evidence from DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 are presented. Sex difference...
Article
This study evaluated the predictive validity of the Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC; Young, Autism detection in early childhood: ADEC. Australian Council of Educational Research, Camberwell, VIC 2007) and a well-established screening tool, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS; Schopler et al. The childhood autism rating scale (CARS). W...
Article
The Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC; Young, 2007) was developed as a Level 2 clinician-administered autistic disorder (AD) screening tool that was time-efficient, suitable for children under 3 years, easy to administer, and suitable for persons with minimal training and experience with AD. A best estimate clinical Diagnostic and Statistic...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of theory of mind (ToM) for typical development, there remain two key issues affecting our ability to draw robust conclusions. One is the continued focus on false-belief as the sole measure of ToM. The second is the lack of empirically validated measures of ToM as a broad construct. Our key aim was to examine the validity and...
Article
Deficits in emotion recognition and social interaction characterize individuals with Asperger's Disorder (AS). Moreover they also appear to be less able to accurately use confidence to gauge their emotion recognition accuracy (i.e., metacognitive monitoring). The aim of this study was to extend this finding by considering both monitoring and contro...
Article
A number of changes were made to pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) in the recently released diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (APA, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, American Psychiatric Publishing, Arlington, VA, 2013). Of the 210 participants in the present study who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for a PDD...
Article
Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically show impairment on face recognition tasks. Performance has usually been assessed using overt, explicit recognition tasks. Here, a complementary method involving eye tracking was used to examine implicit face recognition in participants with ASD and in an intelligence quotient-matched non-...
Chapter
Full-text available
Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)1 have various cognitive and behavioral characteristics that can (a) render them vulnerable to becoming enmeshed in criminal activity, and (b) result in their being evaluated unfavorably when interacting with criminal justice personnel such as the police, lawyers and juries. Here we (1) provide an overview...
Article
Although face recognition deficits in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including Asperger syndrome (AS), are widely acknowledged, the empirical evidence is mixed. This in part reflects the failure to use standardized and psychometrically sound tests. We contrasted standardized face recognition scores on the Cambridge Face Memory Tes...
Article
Attention was directed towards negative, neutral, and positive word stimuli to explore the effect of emotions on sensorimotor skill performance. Forty novice and 40 experienced basketballers simultaneously completed a free-throw shooting task and a secondary word semantics task. A manipulation check confirmed that the secondary task influenced part...
Article
Data from two groups of children who were randomly allocated to those groups showed that the ability of children with ASD to identify and label basic and complex facial expressions following a 3-week home based DVD intervention significantly improved when viewing The Transporters DVD. Improvements in emotion recognition appear related to the conten...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between age, IQ test scores and inspection time (IT) was investigated, comparing children from two age groups (6–8 and 10–12 years) and three IQ levels (low, average, above average). The results indicated a reliable estimate of IT could be obtained from all groups, even across two procedures. IT was found to improve with childhood...
Article
Research has shown that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have difficulties recognising emotions from facial expressions. Since eye contact is important for accurate emotion recognition, and individuals with ASD tend to avoid eye contact, this tendency for gaze aversion has been proposed as an explanation for the emotion recognition...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Identification of early signs of autism is a priority for the field as it provides therapeutic targets for early intervention. As it is difficult to detect clinically meaningful variation in language, social and cognitive development in very young children, sensory-motor differences may offer a better means of evaluating autism risk i...
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that presents in the first three years of life. Currently, diagnosis of ASD is based on its behavioural manifestations, as laboratory diagnostic tests do not exist. Creatine deficiency syndrome (CDS) is one form of inborn error of metabolism where affected individuals have simi...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored attentional patterns associated with positive and negative emotions during sport competition, and athletes' perceptions of the consequences of these attentional changes for concentration and performance. Sixty-nine athletes completed the Sport Emotion Questionnaire following a national softball competition. They also retrospecti...
Conference Paper
Background: Anecdotal reports suggest that the presence of behaviours indicative of autism (AD) are displayed at a very early age, with nearly half (31-51%) of all children with AD displaying abnormalities within the first year of life (Gray & Tonge, 2001). Despite this acknowledgment, a diagnosis of AD is typically not being made until a child i...
Article
A Spanish translation of the Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC-SP) was administered to 115 children aged 15-73 months in Mexico. In Phase 1, children with Autistic Disorder (AD), a non-Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis or typical development were assessed with the ADEC-SP by a clinician blind to the child's diagnostic status....
Article
An autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis is based on clinical behaviours as there are no validated biological diagnostic tools. Indolyl-3-acryloylglycine (IAG) is a chemical produced by gut microflora and there are conflicting reports as to whether urinary levels are elevated in children with ASD compared with controls. Urinary IAG levels in mor...
Article
Full-text available
Children with autism are frequently observed to experience difficulties in sensory processing. This study examined specific patterns of sensory processing in 54 children with autistic disorder and their association with adaptive behavior. Model-based cluster analysis revealed three distinct sensory processing subtypes in autism. These subtypes were...
Conference Paper
Background: The difficulty in identifying Autistic Disorder at an early age may partly arise from the fact that existing tools and the current diagnostic criteria defined in the ICD-10 (1992) and DSM-IV-TR (2000) describe behaviors thought to occur later in the developmental pathology of the disorder. Objectives: The ADEC (Autism Detection in Early...
Article
Full-text available
Mothers of children aged 2-12 years completed an exhaustive questionnaire assessing feeding and eating behaviors for both themselves and their children with autism, and typically developing siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (where available), or typically developing children with no sibling with a disability. Results indicate that...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the relationships between abilities to initiate and respond to joint attention and symptoms of autism that have, and have not, been theoretically linked to joint attention. Participants were 51 boys and five girls with autistic disorder, aged between 2 years and 6 years 5 months. Measures of joint attention behaviour...
Article
Full-text available
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by complex aetiology, variable presentation and widely divergent outcomes. It is clear that an individual's intrinsic genetic susceptibility, health, nutritional status and environmental exposures all contribute to the aetiology of autism. This article aims to assist the general practitioner in...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory processing (SP) difficulties have been reported in as many as 95% of children with autism, however, empirical research examining the existence of specific patterns of SP difficulties within this population is scarce. Furthermore, little attention has been given to examining the relationship between SP and either the core symptoms or seconda...
Article
The behaviours of infants were observed using home videos, in an attempt to identify social difficulties characteristic of infants with autistic disorder. Three groups of infants were analysed: 15 infants who had later been diagnosed with autism, 15 infants who had a developmental or language delay, and 15 typically developing infants. Social behav...
Article
The present study investigated the relationship between social comparison processes and depressive symptoms in 36 participants (34 males and two females) aged 10 to 16 years with Asperger syndrome. Participants completed the Social Comparison Scale and the Children's Depression Inventory. Depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with the S...
Chapter
Examples of individuals who demonstrate extreme variations between abilities present a challenge to our understanding of brain functioning and in particular a unified view of intelligence. Such individuals often referred to as “savants” are the focus of this chapter. The question as to how brilliance can be achieved in a specific domain despite lim...
Article
Full-text available
Snyder and Mitchell (1999) have argued that the extraordinary skills of savants, including mathematics and drawing, are within us all but cannot normally be accessed without some form of brain damage. It has also been argued that such skills can be made accessible to normal people by switching off part of their brain artificially using magnetic pul...
Article
The aim of the study was to identify early behavioural abnormalities in children later diagnosed with autistic disorder. Accurate identification of such deficits has implications for early diagnosis, intervention and prognosis. The parents of 153 children with autistic disorder completed a questionnaire asking them to describe early childhood behav...
Article
The failure to identify biological markers that will enable us to map diagnostically valid categories of PDDs forces clinicians and researchers to diagnose and discuss these disorders in terms of observable behaviors. Although the documentation of these behaviors has led to considerable advancement in the clinical description of children with PDDs,...