Title

Social motivation is associated with elevated salivary cortisol in boys with an ASD

Date of this Version

9-26-2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Bitsika, V., Sharpley, C. F., Agnew, L. L., & Andronicos, N. M. (2015, Online). Social motivation is associated with elevated salivary cortisol in boys with an ASD. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. Online 26 October, 2015, pp 1-12.

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2015 HERDC submission

Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

ISSN

1056-263X

Abstract

Because social communication difficulties and stress are common in children with an ASD, and because it has been hypothesised that the two are related, the association between these two variables was investigated in a sample of 90 boys with an ASD and who were aged between 6 years and 12 years of age. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) was completed by the parents of these boys about their sons, plus salivary cortisol samples were collected from the boys. Results indicated that only one aspect of the boys' SRS was significantly correlated with cortisol—Social Motivation (SM). Factor analyses revealed two discrete aspects of SM and each showed different patterns of correlations with cortisol across the seven years of primary school. These results suggest that it was the change in social and teaching expectations that contributed to the variability in SM-cortisol correlations rather than the social expectations per se.

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This document has been peer reviewed.