Associations between conceptual reasoning, problem solving, and adaptive ability in high-functioning autism

Diane L. Williams, Carla A. Mazefsky, Jon D. Walker, Nancy J. Minshew, Gerald Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract thinking is generally highly correlated with problem-solving ability which is predictive of better adaptive functioning. Measures of conceptual reasoning, an ecologically-valid laboratory measure of problem-solving, and a report measure of adaptive functioning in the natural environment, were administered to children and adults with and without autism. The individuals with autism had weaker conceptual reasoning ability than individuals with typical development of similar age and cognitive ability. For the autism group, their flexible thinking scores were significantly correlated with laboratory measures of strategy formation and rule shifting and with reported overall adaptive behavior but not socialization scores. Therefore, in autism, flexibility of thought is potentially more important for adaptive functioning in the natural environment than conceptual reasoning or problem-solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2908-2920
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume44
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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