The Relationship between Executive Functioning and Emotional Intelligence in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jennifer L. Reynolds, Alan J. Lincoln, Roya Iravani, Varvara Toma, Shamayne Brown
2018 Open Journal of Psychiatry  
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate marked deficits in the ability to initiate, maintain and sustain meaningful social interaction. While the social-emotional deficits represent a core set of problems, persons with ASD also demonstrate significant problems in initiating, sustaining and maintaining appropriate goal directed behaviors. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a construct that has been successfully applied to a range of skills that allow for the prediction of competent
more » ... ction of competent human social behavior. Executive Functions (EF) refer to constructs involving cognitive abilities necessary for initiating, sustaining and maintaining purposeful goal-oriented behavior. While both children and adults with ASD have previously shown to have atypical patterns of EF skills, little is known about EI in either children or adults with ASD. Moreover, there is no study examining the relationship between EI and EF that has been reported in individuals with ASD. The current study examined the relationship between EF and EI in children with ASD. Twenty children with ASD were compared to twenty neurotypical children on self-report and clinical assessments of EI and EF. Although the relationship between EF and EI was not statistically significant, results showed that children with ASD have deficits in interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills and overall EI when compared to their neurotypical peers. These results suggest that EF and EI are relatively independent domains of development that show compromise in persons with ASD and each may be necessary to support typical socially directed behaviors.
doi:10.4236/ojpsych.2018.83022 fatcat:4rhxhbhufzaklbukejaei7ywpq