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Persistence and predictors of self-injurious behaviour in autism: A ten-year prospective cohort study

Laverty, Catherine, Oliver, Chris, Moss, Joanna, Nelson, Lisa and Richards, Caroline (2020) Persistence and predictors of self-injurious behaviour in autism: A ten-year prospective cohort study Molecular Autism, 11 (1), 8.

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Abstract

Background: Self-injurious behaviours, such as head banging, hair pulling, skin picking and scratching, are common in individuals with autism. Despite high prevalence rates, there is a paucity of longitudinal research to refine models of risk and mechanism and inform service planning. In this longitudinal study, we investigated self-injury in a cohort of individuals with autism over 10 years to identify behavioural and demographic characteristics associated with persistent self-injury. Methods: Carers of 67 individuals with autism completed questionnaires relating to the presence of self-injury and relevant risk markers at T 1 (mean [SD] age in years 13.4 [7.7]) and T 3 (mean [SD] age in years 23.9 [7.7]) 10 years later. Forty-six of these also took part at T 2 (3 years after initial participation). Analysis assessed demographic and behavioural risk markers for self-injury, as well as the predictive value of items assessed at T 1and T 2. Results: Self-injury was persistent in 44% of individuals over the 10-year period, with behavioural characteristics of impulsivity (p <.001) and overactivity (p =.002), identified as risk markers for persistence. A predictive model of self-injury was derived from LASSO analysis, with baseline impulsivity, interest and pleasure, stereotyped behaviour, social communication and adaptive functioning predicting self-injury over 10 years. Conclusions: In this unique longitudinal investigation into the persistence of self-injury in a non-clinical sample of individuals with autism over a 10 year period, we have identified a novel, robust and stable profile of behavioural characteristics associated with persistent self-injury. Findings support an early intervention strategy targeted towards individuals identified to be at a higher risk of developing self-injurious behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Laverty, Catherine
Oliver, Chris
Moss, Joannaj.moss@surrey.ac.uk
Nelson, Lisa
Richards, Caroline
Date : 20 January 2020
DOI : 10.1186/s13229-019-0307-z
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Autism; Impulsivity; Prevalence; Risk marker; Self-injury; Self-restraint
Additional Information : Research Autism and Cerebra provided partial funding for this project.
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 03 Feb 2020 16:03
Last Modified : 03 Feb 2020 16:19
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853560

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