O papel das funções executivas nas dificuldades de socialização na perturbação do espectro do autismo

  • Marina Sobral Tordo Simões Lopes Marçal (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by coredeficits in social function and, frequently, changes in Executive Functions. Although bothsocial deficits and executive function (EF) deficits have been extensively studied separately,there has been little research on the relationship between EF and social function in childrenwith ASD. The aim of the present study was to evaluate executive functions in ASD and tostudy its relationship with the social component in children and young people with AutismSpectrum Disorder (ASD) and with typical development (TD).First, we tried to evaluate the EF of the two groups using direct methods namely, theperformance of neuropsychological tasks, i.e., digit memory (direct and inverse), VerbalFluency (Semantics and Phonetics), TMT (A and B) and through indirect methods, with theapplication of a Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF) (Goia et al.,2000) to the children's parents, and the socialization domain evaluated with the VinelandAdaptive Behavior Scales (Sparrow et al., 2005). Secondly, it was verified the relationshipbetween executive functions, assessed directly and indirectly, with the ability to socialize.In view of the proposed objectives, 19 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and 18children with typical development aged between eight and 15 years were studied. The resultsobtained indicate that only through indirect methods (daily behavioral assessment carried outby parents) are identified significant differences between the two groups in EF. Regarding thesecond objective of the study, we identified a significant relationship between the ability tosocialize and day-to-day EF, for the Behavior Regulation Component and the Metacognition Coportmponent for both groups despite the strong correlation for the Metacognition domain, namely for the Working Memory functions and Planning / Organization for the group with ASD. These results suggest that lower social capabilities can benefit from interventions that include the development of EF, and specially for individuals with PEA level 1, of metacognitive functions.
Date of Award23 Jul 2020
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorFilipa Ribeiro (Supervisor)


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Typical development
  • Executive functions
  • Direct methods
  • Indirect methods
  • Metacognition
  • Behavior regulation
  • Working memory
  • Planning


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

Cite this