Discrepancies When Assessing Interpersonal Problem-Solving Skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Diagnostic Indicator

  • M. Mar Gómez-Pérez
  • Sara MataEmail author
  • M. Dolores Calero
Original Paper


In children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there are often discrepancies between direct assessment and third-party reports. We compared these children with groups with/without difficulties in interpersonal problem-solving skills in order to determine whether these discrepancies appear and if they could be a diagnostic indicator for ASD. There were 91 participants (ages 7–13): 28 children with ASD, 36 in a high family risk situation, and 27 typically developing children, all tested with direct measures and third-party reports. Results showed discrepancies only in the ASD group. Consequently, direct performance measures and third-party reports seem to be evaluating different constructs in children with ASD. In addition, both types of measures discriminate between groups, such that both are needed, especially in diagnostic assessments.


Interpersonal problem-solving skills Autism spectrum disorder Discrepancies Childhood High family risk 



We are grateful to the participants, their parents and staff from the associations and schools involved.

Author Contributions

MMG contributed to the study desing, collected data, analysed data and wrote the manuscript. SM contributed to the study design, collected data, analysed data and wrote the manuscript. MDC contributed to the study design, analysed data and wrote the manuscript.


This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, R&D Project Ref. 2011-24370 and by the Andalusian Regional Government (Junta de Andalucía) through Proyecto de Excelencia convocatoria 2012, Ref. P12-SEJ-560.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants’ parents included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Mar Gómez-Pérez
    • 1
  • Sara Mata
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. Dolores Calero
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación Mente, Cerebro y Comportamiento (CIMCYC), Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Personality, Assessment and Treatment DepartmentUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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