Symptom severity as a risk factor for self-injurious behaviours in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Self-injurious behaviours (SIB) are highly prevalent in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and have deleterious effects on the individual and their environment. The aim of this study was to examine SIB prevalence and associated features in a population of 152 adolescents with ASD and to determine risk factors for SIB. METHODS: The present study uses a subset of data of a longitudinal follow-up of 152 children with ASD. The presence of a low or high level of self-injury was assessed at adolescence through the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist completed by parents. Clinical and social variables regarding severity of autism symptoms, psychological development, adaptive behaviours, parental quality of life and total intervention time were collected during childhood (mean age = 5 years, SD = 1.6) and at adolescence (mean age = 15 years, SD = 1.3). RESULTS: About 35.8% of adolescents with ASD in our sample displayed self-injury, which was frequently associated with other challenging behaviours and was related to severity of autism symptoms, adaptive skills, intellectual functioning and language level (P < 0.001). The main risk factor for SIB at adolescence was severity of autism symptoms (P = 0.04). Cognitive development during childhood was found to be a protective factor (P = 0.03) whereas at adolescence, the main protective factor was communicative abilities (P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: These data showed that SIB remained highly prevalent at adolescence and yielded risk and protective factors for developing SIB at this period of life. Limitations and perspectives for future research are discussed.
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Soumis le : vendredi 24 mai 2019 - 10:48:46
Dernière modification le : jeudi 6 juin 2019 - 14:49:13

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C. Michelon, C. Rattaz, Amaria Baghdadli. Symptom severity as a risk factor for self-injurious behaviours in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 59 (8), pp.730-741. ⟨10.1111/jir.12177⟩. ⟨hal-02138828⟩

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