Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 2164–2173 | Cite as

Associations Between Emotion Regulation and Social Impairment in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Samantha F. Goldsmith
  • Elizabeth Kelley
Original Paper


In typically-developing (TD) individuals, effective emotion regulation strategies have been associated with positive outcomes in various areas, including social functioning. Although impaired social functioning is a core criterion of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the role of emotion regulation ability in ASD has been largely ignored. This study investigated the association between emotion regulation and ASD symptomatology, with a specific emphasis on social impairment. We used parent-report questionnaires to assess the regulatory strategies and symptom severity of 145 youth with ASD. Results showed that: (1) more effective emotion regulation, defined by greater use of reappraisal, predicted less severe ASD symptomatology, and (2) greater use of reappraisal predicted less severe social impairment. Suppression was not predictive of general symptomatology or social functioning.


Emotion regulation Autism Autism Spectrum Disorder Social impairment 



We would like to thank Rosaria Furlano for her help with statistical analyses. We would also like to thank all of the families who took time out of their busy schedules to respond to this survey. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Author Contributions

SFG was the primary author of this article; EK provided theoretical and editorial guidance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Rights

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.

Supplementary material

10803_2018_3483_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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