Aggression and temperament in children with autism spectrum disorder



Craven-Thuss, Beth

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University of Guelph


Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were asked to report on their children's aggressive behaviour and temperament. Total amount of aggressive behaviour as well as reactive and proactive subtypes of aggression were considered. The 40 children with ASD were reported to display significantly more reactive than proactive aggression. The Children's Behaviour Questionnaire (Goldsmith & Rothbart, 1991) was used to measure temperament along with other scales. Compared to normative data from typically developing children, children with ASD had a temperamental profile higher on some dimensions of reactivity and lower in self-regulation. The usefulness of individual differences in temperament for predicting aggression was also examined. Temperamental reactivity was identified as a key variable in aggressive behaviour in this group of children with ASD. The importance of the distinction of aggression subtypes was emphasized and results were discussed in relation to future research directions.



Autism Spectrum Disorder, children, aggressive behaviour, temperament, reactive aggression, proactive aggression, temperamental reactivity