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Emotional Intelligence in Asperger Syndrome: Implications of Dissonance between Intellect and Affect

By: Janine M. Montgomery, Adam W. McCrimmon, Vicki L. Schwean, and Donald H. Saklofske

Abstract: Although many individuals with AS keenly desire social relationships, they are often unsuccessful in developing and maintaining them. Emotional intelligence (EI) as both an ability and trait is a construct that offers potential to enhance understanding of emotional and social characteristics of individuals with AS. Twenty-five young adults (aged 16-21 years) diagnosed with AS participated in an exploratory study that investigated EI. Trends and differences between AS and normative groups were examined. Correlation and multiple regressions were employed to explore relationships amongst variables. Results indicated that trait EI was impaired for individuals with AS; however, ability EI was intact. Regression analyses revealed that trait and ability EI together predicted 57% of the variance for self-reported interpersonal skills and 31% of the variance for parent-reported social skills. Trait EI alone predicted 19% of the variance for self-reported social stress. Results are discussed in terms of terms of social skills interventions for individuals in this population and suggest future research directions.

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Volume 53(3) September 2018

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