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Wednesday, October 10 • 2:50pm - 3:00pm
Oral 17, Talk 1. "Co-occurrence of autism and psychosis traits in young adolescents: impact on theory of mind"

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Stephen Wood1,2,3, Ahmad Abu-Akel4, Renate Reniers5, Katherine Chisholm3, Ashleigh Lin6; 1Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, 2Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, 3School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, 4Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, 5Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham, 6Telethon Kids Institute
Co-occurrence of autism and psychosis traits is well-reported in the general population. The impact of these traits is less well understood, although there are several reports of diametric effects on measures of theory of mind. In contrast, work in clinical populations has been more likely to report additive impacts of these traits on measures of functioning and symptoms. In addition, although there are several reports in the general population, these samples tend to be young adults (frequently university psychology students). It is unclear to what extent similar relationships exist in younger samples prior to the main risk period for psychotic symptomatology, or in samples from less well educated backgrounds. We assessed 256 young people (mean age 15.6±1.6yrs) from secondary schools in and around Birmingham. Autism and psychosis traits were assessed with the AQ and CAPE respectively, while theory of mind was assessed with the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Yoni test. We found no evidence for a significant relationship between autism or psychosis traits and performance on either theory of mind test, after controlling for the effects of age. The previously reported diametric impact of these traits on theory of mind may only be apparent in adult populations.


Stephen Wood

School of Psychology, University of Birmingham

Wednesday October 10, 2018 2:50pm - 3:00pm EDT
St. George AB Westin Copley Place, third floor