Social-cognitive, physiological, and neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation impairments: understanding anxiety in autism spectrum disorder.


Journal Article (Review)

Anxiety is one of the most common clinical problems among children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet we know little about its etiology in the context of ASD. We posit that emotion regulation (ER) impairments are a risk factor for anxiety in ASD. Specifically, we propose that one reason why anxiety disorders are so frequently comorbid with ASD is because ER impairments are ubiquitous to ASD, stemming from socio-cognitive, physiological, and neurological processes related to impaired cognitive control, regulatory processes, and arousal. In this review, we offer a developmental model of how ER impairments may arise in ASD, and when (moderating influences) and how (meditational mechanisms) they result in anxiety.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • White, SW; Mazefsky, CA; Dichter, GS; Chiu, PH; Richey, JA; Ollendick, TH

Published Date

  • December 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 /

Start / End Page

  • 22 - 36

PubMed ID

  • 24951837

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24951837

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-474X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2014.05.012


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States