Asperger’s syndrome and traumatic brain injury: the role of anxiety in executive function and theory of mind deficits

Tariq, Aisha (2014) Asperger’s syndrome and traumatic brain injury: the role of anxiety in executive function and theory of mind deficits. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3060577

Abstract

Background: Theory of mind and executive function deficits have been implicated in a wide range of neurological conditions, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Uncertainty remains about the degree of overlap of these functions, as well as the mechanisms that may be involved in specific disorders. The role of other processes, such as anxiety, has also not been considered.
Aims: To investigate the role of anxiety in individuals with ASD and TBI in their executive function and theory of mind abilities.
Methods: A prospective between groups design was used to compare ASD and TBI groups. Relaxation training was implemented and individuals were compared pre- and post- relaxation on measures of executive function and theory of mind.
Results: Pre-relaxation scores indicated the ASD group had significantly higher anxiety than the TBI group, but with relaxation improving anxiety in both groups. Significant interactions of executive function, theory of mind and group were found, with the ASD group scoring higher after relaxation. A significant correlation was also found between executive function and theory of mind, but only in the ASD group.
Conclusions: The present results suggest anxiety may play a significant role in the executive function and theory of mind deficits observed in ASD. TBI may involve different mechanisms which impact on functioning. Applications: The findings raise important implications for intervention and the potential to develop executive function and theory of mind skills in ASD.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Asperger, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, theory of mind, executive function, anxiety
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McMillan, Professor Tom
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mrs Aisha Tariq
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5247
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2014 11:29
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2014 11:29
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5247

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