Everyday executive functioning influences adaptive skills in autism spectrum disorders

Rachel K. Peterson, Chad A. Noggle, Jon C. Thompson, Jeremy J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Adaptive skills are often defined as a set of behaviors or constellation of skills that allow for an individual to function independently and meet environmental demands. Adaptive skills have been linked with an array of social and academic outcomes. Executive functions (EF) have been defined as a set of "capacities that enable a person to engage successfully in independent, purposive, self-serving behavior". While the literature has demonstrated some overlap in the definitions of adaptive skills and the purpose of executive functions, little has been done to investigate the relationship between the two. The current study sought to investigate this relationship within Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a clinical grouping that has demonstrated a predisposition towards deficits within both of these functional domains. ASD are oftentimes associated with EF deficits, especially in the domains of cognitive flexibility, planning, and working memory. Deficits in adaptive skills have also been commonly reported in relation to ASD, with a wide range of abilities being noted across previous studies. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between adaptive skills and EF in individuals with ASD with the idea that an understanding of such relationships may offer insight into possible focus for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalNeuropsychological Trends
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptative skills
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Executive functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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