Altruistic helping in young children with ASD: A preliminary study

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Research in Developmental Disabilities
Citações (Scopus)
Manfredi M.
Fernandes Rodrigues Pereira E.
Horta Tabosa do Egito J.
Scarano de Mendonca J.
Caldas Osorio A.A.
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© 2021 Elsevier LtdIt has long been claimed that individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show impaired prosocial behavior, however there is little direct evidence in support of this claim and inconsistencies have been reported in the literature. Therefore, the goal of this study was to compare the levels of altruistic behavior in 15 young children with an ASD and 14 children with Down syndrome, paired in chronological age (age range between 2 years and 8 months and 6 years and 2 months) and non-verbal intellectual ability. Our results showed that children with an ASD engaged less frequently in altruistic behavior compared to the DS group. In addition, we found a significant negative correlation between the severity of autism symptoms and altruistic behavior in the ASD group, suggesting that the more severe the symptoms of ASD, the less frequent the altruistic behaviors. Conversely, no significant correlations were found between non-verbal IQ level and performance in the altruistic behavior tasks, in either group. Overall, our results suggest that, regardless of intellectual skills, the ability to engage in altruistic behavior is compromised in young children with ASD.
Assuntos Scopus
Altruism , Autism Spectrum Disorder , Child , Child, Preschool , Cognition , Down Syndrome , Humans , Infant
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