Associations Among Vocabulary, Executive Function Skills and Empathy in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Background: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been characterized as having deficits in social communication and empathy which present difficulties in the areas of social reciprocity, sharing of emotions and developing and maintaining relationships. This study explores the associations between vocabulary, executive function skills and empathy in individuals with ASD. Method: A survey study with a purposive sample was used. Twenty adolescents with ASD completed receptive and expressive vocabulary assessments while their parent and teacher completed executive function and empathy scales. Results: Results indicated that higher vocabulary and executive function skills were associated with higher empathy. Nonparametric analyses also showed that executive function mediated the association between empathy and vocabulary. Differences between parent and teacher responses were also explored. Conclusions: The results suggest that targeting vocabulary and executive function skills prior to, or in conjunction with, social skills in educational and therapeutic settings may prove beneficial.
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
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Cascia, Jo Anne and Barr, Jason J., "Associations Among Vocabulary, Executive Function Skills and Empathy in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2017). Kean Publications. 1607.