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Int J Dev Neurosci. 2014 Dec;39:22-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2014.05.012. Epub 2014 Jun 18.

Social-cognitive, physiological, and neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation impairments: understanding anxiety in autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, United States. Electronic address: sww@vt.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, United States.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, United States; Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, United States.
4
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, United States.
5
Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, United States.

Abstract

Anxiety is one of the most common clinical problems among children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet we know little about its etiology in the context of ASD. We posit that emotion regulation (ER) impairments are a risk factor for anxiety in ASD. Specifically, we propose that one reason why anxiety disorders are so frequently comorbid with ASD is because ER impairments are ubiquitous to ASD, stemming from socio-cognitive, physiological, and neurological processes related to impaired cognitive control, regulatory processes, and arousal. In this review, we offer a developmental model of how ER impairments may arise in ASD, and when (moderating influences) and how (meditational mechanisms) they result in anxiety.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Autism; Developmental psychopathology; Emotion regulation; Mechanism

PMID:
24951837
PMCID:
PMC4180783
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2014.05.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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