A comparison of age, cognitive, hormonal, symptomatic and mood correlates of Aggression towards Others in boys with ASD

Vicki Bitsika, Christopher F. Sharpley*, John A. Sweeney, Nicholas M. Andronicos, Linda L. Agnew, Wayne M. Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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    Background: Aggression is a major problem in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but little is known about the possible contributors to this behaviour.

    Aims: To determine the relative strength of the relationships between developmental, cognitive, symptomatic, hormonal and mood factors and 'Aggression towards Others' in boys with ASD.

    Method: Predictors of Aggression towards Others were investigated in a sample of 136 boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder (M age = 11.3yr, SD = 3.2yr, range = 6yr to 17yr). Data were collected from the boys themselves and their parents (14 fathers, 122 mothers).

    Results: Results indicated that age and Low Registration on the Sensory Profile were the only significant correlates of this form of aggression. Importantly, testosterone levels did not account for level of social aggression.

    Conclusions: These data suggest that these boys may have learnt more effective methods of dealing with their frustration as they grew older or benefitted from cognitive maturation, and that having a high neurological threshold may be a source of frustration for these boys. The relationship between Aggression towards Others and Low Registration is discussed and clinical implications of the findings explicated. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-54
    Number of pages11
    JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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