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Title: Alexithymia and autism spectrum disorder : a complex relationship
Authors: Poquérusse, Jessie
Pastore, Luigi
Dellantonio, Sara
Esposito, Gianluca
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Poquérusse, J., Pastore, L., Dellantonio, S., & Esposito, G. (2018). Alexithymia and autism spectrum disorder : a complex relationship. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1196-.
Series/Report no.: Frontiers in Psychology
Abstract: Alexithymia is a personality construct characterized by altered emotional awareness which has been gaining diagnostic prevalence in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, with notably high rates of overlap with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the nature of its role in ASD symptomatology remains elusive. Here, we distill research at the intersection of alexithymia and ASD. After a brief synopsis of the studies that plaid a pioneering role in the identification of the overlapping fields between alexithymia and ASD, we comb the literature for evidence of its overlap with ASD in terms of prevalence, etiology, and behaviors. Through a formalized framework of the process of emotional interpretation and expression, we explore evidence for where and how deficits arise in this complex network of events. We portray how these relate to the dynamic interplay between alexithymic and autistic traits and find emerging evidence that alexithymia is both a cause and consequence of autistic behaviors. We end with a strategic proposal for future research and interventions to dampen the impacts of alexithymia in ASD.
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01196
Rights: © 2018 Poquérusse, Pastore, Dellantonio and Esposito. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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