The relationship between intolerance of uncertainty, sensory sensitivities, and anxiety in autistic and typically developing children

Louise Neil*, Nora Choque Olsson, Elizabeth Pellicano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Guided by a recent theory that proposes fundamental differences in how autistic individuals deal with uncertainty, we investigated the extent to which the cognitive construct ‘intolerance of uncertainty’ and anxiety were related to parental reports of sensory sensitivities in 64 autistic and 85 typically developing children aged 6–14 years. Intolerance of uncertainty and anxiety explained approximately half the variance in autistic children’s sensory sensitivities, but only around a fifth of the variance in typical children’s sensory sensitivities. In children with autism only, intolerance of uncertainty remained a significant predictor of children’s sensory sensitivities once the effects of anxiety were adjusted for. Our results suggest intolerance of uncertainty is a relevant construct to sensory sensitivities in children with and without autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1962-1973
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • sensory sensitivities
  • anxiety
  • intolerance of uncertainty

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