Compliance and school liking in children with high functioning autism and typically-developing peers: relations with temperament and parent pehaviors

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The constructs of compliance and temperament play an important role in children's school liking and engagement, and these constructs may differ between typically-developing children and children with autism because of

The constructs of compliance and temperament play an important role in children's school liking and engagement, and these constructs may differ between typically-developing children and children with autism because of the deficits associated with autism. The present study examined group differences among temperament, parent and child behaviors in a compliance context, and school liking and how these processes related to each other. This was the first study to examine school liking in children with high functioning autism and to explore the associations among school liking, temperament, and compliance in this population. Participants included children with high functioning autism (n = 20) and typically-developing children (n = 20) matched on language and mental age, and their parents. Compliance to a parent was observed in a laboratory setting, and temperament and school liking data were collected using parent-report measures. The findings revealed that children with autism had significantly lower Effortful Control (EC) and school liking scores than typically-developing children. However, there were no group differences in compliance, and no significant relation was found between temperament and compliance. Additionally, school liking scores were related to compliance and EC. These findings are discussed with respect to implications for potential future research and use of interventions for children with high functioning autism.