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Canadian Journal of School Psychology

http://cjs.sagepub.com Emotional Intelligence and Resiliency in Young Adults With Asperger's Disorder: Challenges and Opportunities

Janine M. Montgomery, Vicki L. Schwean, Jo-Anne G. Burt, Danielle I. Dyke, Keoma J. Thorne, Yvonne L. Hindes, Adam W. McCrimmon and Candace S. Kohut Canadian Journal of School Psychology 2008; 23; 70 originally published online Apr 4, 2008; DOI: 10.1177/0829573508316594 The online version of this article can be found at: http://cjs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/1/70

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Emotional Intelligence and Resiliency in Young Adults With Asperger's Disorder

Challenges and Opportunities

Janine M. Montgomery

University of Manitoba

Canadian Journal of School Psychology Volume 23 Number 1 June 2008 70-93 © 2008 Sage Publications 10.1177/0829573508316594 http://cjsp.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com

Vicki L. Schwean Jo-Anne G. Burt Danielle I. Dyke Keoma J. Thorne Yvonne L. Hindes Adam W. McCrimmon Candace S. Kohut

University of Calgary

Abstract: Asperger's disorder (AD) is characterized by sustained and pervasive difficulties with imaginative, social, and communication skills and the presence of repetitive interests and behaviours. A number of models have been proposed to help explain the AD phenotype; however, these theories have not fully accounted for the social difficulties present in individuals with AD. The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) may offer insight into the social and emotional behaviours exhibited by young adults with AD. In addition, the concept of resilience, or the capacity for individuals to cope despite risk, may further explain why some individuals with AD experience more successful outcomes than others. This study explores EI and resilience in 20 males diagnosed with AD with average to above-average cognitive abilities. Various aspects of social functioning, EI, and resilience were assessed. Results indicate that males with AD displayed intact ability EI; however, they did not display typically developed trait EI. Furthermore, trait EI was associated with important resilient and adaptive outcomes, and these findings provide opportunities for intervention. It is important that through the identification of factors that compose resilient outcomes, this research represents the first step in identifying interventions designed to strengthen protective factors within young adults diagnosed with AD. Résumé: Le syndrome d'Asperger (SA) se caractérise par des difficultés durables et envahissantes dans le domaine des habiletés d'imagination et de communication, des

Authors' Note: This research was generously funded by a grant from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family, and Community Research. 70

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aptitudes sociales, de même que par la présence d'intérêts et de comportements répétitifs. Divers modèles ont été proposés pour tenter de comprendre le phénotype du SA, mais ils n'expliquent toutefois pas entièrement les difficultés sociales que vivent les personnes qui en sont atteintes. Le concept d'intelligence émotionnelle (IE) pourrait permettre de mieux comprendre les comportements sociaux et émotifs présents chez les jeunes adultes atteints du SA. De plus, le concept de résilience, soit la capacité de composer malgré le risque, pourrait expliquer encore plus pourquoi certaines personnes aux prises avec le SA s'en tirent mieux que d'autres. Notre étude explore l'IE et la résilience chez 20 jeunes hommes qui ont reçu un diagnostic de SA et dont les habiletés cognitives se situent dans la moyenne ou plus. Nous avons évalué divers aspects du fonctionnement social, de l'IE et de la résilience. Selon les résultats, ces jeunes hommes démontrent une habileté d'IE intacte, sans toutefois démontrer le trait typique d'IE. En outre, le trait d'IE est associé à d'importants facteurs de résilience et d'adaptation importantes, et ces résultats fournissent des occasions d'intervention. À noter que cette recherche, par l'identification de facteurs qui nuisent à la résilience, constitue la première étape dans l'élaboration d'interventions qui renforceraient les facteurs protecteurs chez les jeunes adultes atteints du SA. Keywords: Asperger's disorder; emotional intelligence; resiliency; life satisfaction; social skills; emotion regulation; adulthood transition

A

number of conceptual models have been proposed to explain the unique cognitive, affective, and behavioural characteristics of individuals with Asperger's disorder (AD). The most prominent include difficulties with executive functions, theory of mind, and weak central coherence. To date, none of these approaches to understanding AD have fully explained the social difficulties observed in individuals with AD (Klin, 2000; Tager-Flusberg, Joseph, & Folstein, 2001), nor have they been examined in relation to resiliency, a construct that refers to adaptive capacities that promote successful outcomes despite the presence of significant adversity. Models of emotional intelligence (EI) suggest that EI plays an influential role in promoting positive development and social outcomes. As such, an examination of the role of EI in relation to resilient outcomes was conducted in an effort to better understand adaptive and resilient outcomes in young adults with AD. Furthermore, a more comprehensive understanding of the emotional and social abilities of individuals with AD, and how they relate to resiliency, provides important information that informs intervention approaches.

Resiliency

Defining resiliency. Many young adults face ongoing adversity during their development; however, a large number of these individuals also experience successful academic, vocational, and social-emotional outcomes despite these risks. Research in the area of resiliency has revealed factors that mediate maladaptive outcomes for

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"at-risk" individuals and promote success in inter- and intrapersonal domains. Resiliency may be defined as those qualities that contribute to positive adaptation in spite of the presence of risk factors or significant adversities (Masten, 1999, 2001; Masten & Coatsworth, 1998). The construct of resilience refers to a dynamic process, and consequently individuals may be more or less resilient at different developmental stages and in varying contexts and situations (Rutter, 1990). Considerable debate exists regarding whether resiliency is best measured in terms of interpersonal outcomes in social, academic, or vocational achievements, by intrapersonal outcomes such as psychological well-being or low levels of distress, or by a combination of both (Masten, 2001). Nevertheless, outcomes are generally considered resilient when persons deemed to be at risk for less advantageous outcomes display mental wellness and social-emotional competence (Olsson, Bond, Burns, Vella-Brodrick, & Sawyer, 2003). It is important that individuals are not considered resilient based solely on successful inter- and intrapersonal outcomes; instead, it is the combination of successful inter- and intrapersonal outcomes, despite significant risk for maladaptive outcomes, that defines resiliency (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998). In addition to risk factors associated with poor developmental outcomes, such as low socioeconomic status, exposure to maltreatment or violence, and/or the presence of medical and/or psychological exceptionalities (e.g., Werner, 2001), the study of resiliency has also endeavoured to identify factors that promote adaptive outcomes. Garmezy (1985) described three categories of protective factors that contribute to positive development: individual attributes, family qualities, and supportive systems outside the family unit. As an example, self-esteem (Benetti & Kambouropoulos, 2006), social skills, optimism, positive parenting patterns (Carlton et al., 2006), and positive peer interactions (Armstrong, Birnie-Lefcovitch, & Ungar, 2005) have all been linked to adaptive outcomes in typically developing children. Resiliency in young adults. Studies of resiliency among adolescent and young adult populations are particularly important, as the transition to adulthood often proves quite challenging and stressful (Ebata, Petersen, & Conger, 1990). Adolescence is not synonymous with puberty; it is characterized by significant neurodevelopmental alterations that include physical, cognitive, socioaffective, and behavioural changes, periods of rapid growth, and the emergence of secondary sexual characteristics. Neurodevelopmental changes often co-occur with additional transitional challenges such as concerns with peer or familial relationships. In addition, there often is increased risk for involvement in various antisocial behaviours that can negatively affect life outcomes (Moffitt, 1993). Investigators have reported increased levels of risky and sensation-driven behaviours as well as a hypersensitivity to reward and decreased inhibition during adolescence and young adulthood (D. F. Duncan, Donnelly, Nicholson, & White, 1999; Irwin, Brindis, Brodt, Bennett, & Rodriguez, 1991; Spear, 2000a, 2000b). Despite the increased risk for maladaptive outcomes, the transition to adulthood also appears to be an opportunity for positive change for those at risk when appropriate supports are provided (Masten et al., 2004).

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Protective factors that appear to counteract risk and subsequent maladaptive outcomes during this challenging maturational period have been proposed by several researchers. Luthar (1991) suggested that social competence, as measured by rating scales and individual popularity with peers, is a strong predictor of resilient outcomes. Evidence also suggests that advanced social skills and well-developed social networks are related to reductions in high-risk behaviours such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption (Rozanski, Blumenthal, & Kaplan, 1999), effective coping strategies (Holahan, Holahan, Moos, & Moos, 1995), a decrease in feelings of loneliness (Bisschop, Kriegsman, Beekman, & Deeg, 2004), and an increase in selfefficacy (Hays, Steffens, Flint, Bosworth, & George, 2001). Furthermore, Werner and Smith (1982) reported that resilient youth display increased responsiveness, flexibility, and adaptability relative to peers their age. Intellectual capacity has also been advanced as a robust predictor of resilience (Luthar, 2003); young adults with stronger cognitive abilities appear to be less affected by negative life events than young adults with underdeveloped (as compared to age-matched peers) cognitive abilities (Masten, 1999). Investigations in the field of personality have also suggested that factors such as emotional wellness (Riolli, Savicki, & Cepani, 2002), satisfaction with life (Schoon & Bynner, 2003), extroversion, agreeableness, and openness to new experiences (Davey, Eaker, & Walters, 2003) contribute to positive development among young adults. Moreover, young adults displaying high levels of resiliency often hold strong beliefs regarding their own capabilities (Schoon & Bynner, 2003). Furthermore, adolescents who are described as resilient typically report positive school experiences and participation in extracurricular activities (Holland & Andre, 1987). Resiliency and psychopathology. Resiliency models have been utilized to predict successful developmental outcomes among individuals with exceptionalities. For example, individuals with affect-regulation difficulties tend to have lower selfesteem and more severe depressive and anxious thoughts as compared to typically developing peers (McCrae, 1990). Furthermore, research suggests the difficulties associated with the symptomatology of internalizing disorders may be reduced by promoting positive coping styles, problem solving, and peer relationships among these young adults (Reivich, Gillham, Chaplin, & Seligman, 2005). Similarly, welldeveloped cognitive abilities and positive parenting styles also appear to promote resiliency in individuals with externalizing disorders (Goldstein, 2002). Protective factors. In sum, the study of resiliency in both typically developing and clinical populations has identified protective factors that appear to promote resiliency. Strong positive correlations have been found between inter- and intrapersonal outcomes and levels of intelligence, social skills, emotional wellness, extroversion, adaptability, and appropriate affect regulation. When present, these protective factors support resilient outcomes among young adults facing adversity.

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Thus, the presence of well-developed inter- and intrapersonal competencies, stress management skills, ability to cope with change, and positive mood in young adults with AD is likely to contribute to successful outcomes and resilience. Moreover, information about the presence or absence of these protective factors in young adults with AD may provide an opportunity for positive change (Masten et al., 2004) among individuals at high risk for maladaptive outcomes.

EI

The construct of EI is embedded in personality theories that span the past century. Theories of social intelligence (Thorndike, 1920), which may be viewed as precursors to EI, became distinguished from other forms of intelligence in the early 1900s and were defined as the ability to effectively understand and interact with others. Years later, Gardner (1983) expanded on Thorndike's work, with the operationalization of the theory of multiple intelligences, which included constructs of inter- and intrapersonal intelligence in its definition. Theories of EI began to emerge in publications during the 1990s, and although the construct was similar to previous conceptualizations of social intelligence, it differed in terms of focus and breadth. Increased interest in and investigation of EI has resulted in the development of distinct theoretical approaches to defining and understanding the construct. The two most prominent approaches have been termed trait-based EI and ability-based EI, and although they differ in their operationalization of EI (with trait-based perspectives emphasizing behavioural dispositions and self-perceived emotional abilities and ability-based perspectives underscoring the role of performance-based abilities), both view EI as a construct distinct from traditional views of intelligence. Furthermore, both approaches highlight the importance of EI as a predictive factor in determining mental and physical wellness. By contrast, these approaches to EI yield different psychometrics, and research suggests that, although related, these constructs measure different facets of EI (Bar-On, 2005; Brackett, & Mayer, 2003; Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2000). Trait-based EI. One of the first assessments developed from the heightened scientific interest in EI was the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (Bar-On EQ-i; Bar-On, 1997; Newsome, Day, & Catano, 2000). In development since the 1980s, the EQ-i examines a range of behavioural dispositions and self-perceived abilities (Bar-On, 1997; Parker, Taylor, & Bagby, 2000). According to Bar-On's (1997) model, assessing self-reports of emotionally competent behaviours is akin to measuring one's "common sense" and ability to "get along with the world." Bar-On's conceptual model of EI (referred to in the literature as trait-based EI, mixed-model EI, and emotional self-efficacy) defines EI as "an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one's ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures" (Bar-On, 1997, p. 14). According to this model,

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EI can be classified into five broad quotients: (a) Intrapersonal, (b) Interpersonal, (c) Adaptability, (d) Stress Management, and (e) General Mood. Subsequent literature has suggested that the General Mood emotional quotient may be characterized primarily as a facilitator of emotionally intelligent behaviours rather than a distinct construct itself. As such, subsequent revisions of the Bar-On EQ-i are composed of four quotients, instead of the five previously defined quotients (Bar-On, 2000). The BarOn EQ-i is arguably the most prominent assessment instrument of trait-based EI used in educational and health settings. There is evidence to suggest incremental validity, above and beyond measures of personality and intelligence, for trait-based EI in a number of areas. According to BarOn (2005), trait-based EI affects not only life success but also emotional and mental health. Livingstone and Day (2005) similarly reported that performance on the EQ-i is related to higher levels of job and life satisfaction and successful affective regulation. Palmer, Donaldson, and Stough (2002), and others (e.g., Bar-On, 1997), found similar results, thereby confirming the positive influence of trait-based EI on various life outcomes. There is also evidence that supports a relationship between trait-based EI and academic achievement. Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan, and Majeski (2004) reported that academically successful 1st-year university students score higher than do less successful students on several quotients of trait-based EI. Furthermore, these findings have been replicated in high school students (Parker et al., 2004). Ability-based EI. Mayer and Salovey's ability-based approach to defining EI developed as a result of investigations into the operationalization and measurement of EI as distinct from other theoretical perspectives of intelligence and personality (Mayer, DiPaolo, & Salovey, 1990). The Mayer-Salovey model of EI involves the capacity to reason with and about emotions, including the abilities to "1) perceive and accurately appraise and express emotions; 2) access and/or generate feelings that facilitate thought; 3) understand emotion and emotion knowledge; and, 4) regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth" (Mayer & Salovey, 1997, p. 10). Cumulatively, this ability-based model of EI is defined as the ability to perceive, access, and generate emotions that assist in understanding and enhancing emotional knowledge and regulating affect (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000). One of the most prominent measures of ability-based EI, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002), reflects this conceptualization. Life satisfaction. Studies suggest that ability-based EI, much like trait-based EI, is related to levels of life satisfaction (e.g., Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000). Moreover, ability-based EI has been associated with a lower self-reported prevalence of aggressive and risk-taking behaviours among college students and with secure attachment styles (Kafetsios, 2004; Mayer, Caruso, Salovey, Formica, & Woolery, 1999). A growing body of literature also suggests positive relationships between various measures of ability-based EI and the quality of social interactions in typically

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developing populations (Mayer et al., 2002). In addition, it appears logical to expect that the relationship between resiliency and positive psychosocial outcomes is also related to increased satisfaction with life.

Resiliency and EI

Protective factors identified in the study of resiliency appear to overlap with factors associated with both trait-based and ability-based EI. Abilities related to perceiving, understanding, assessing, and regulating emotions represent critical components of not only trait- and ability-based EI but also of extroversion and social skills. An examination of the relationship between both trait- and ability-based EI and resiliency in clinical populations appears to be a logical extension of previous investigations of resiliency. Although there are no known studies examining the relationship between resiliency and EI, one might expect a positive correlation between levels of ability- and trait-based EI and resiliency in light of previous studies of EI and psychopathology. As such, an investigation into the nature of the relationship among trait-based and ability-based EI, resiliency, and psychopathology, particularly in a clinical group characterized by social-emotional difficulties, is of great interest.

EI and Resiliency in AD

AD is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by social and communication difficulties, play and imagination deficits, and a range of repetitive behaviours and interests, despite typical language acquisition and cognitive functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The unique social and emotional challenges experienced by individuals with AD often negatively affect their social and emotional abilities and place them at higher risk for experiencing poor outcomes, including social exclusion (Attwood, 1998; Church, Alisanski, & Amanullah, 2000; Smith-Myles & Simpson, 1998), anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, conduct and behaviour difficulties, and peer bullying (Butzer & Konstantareas, 2003; Ghaziuddin, WeidmerMikhail, & Ghaziuddin, 1998; Portway & Johnson, 2005; Tantam, 2000). The transition to adulthood represents a critical developmental period when significant maturational and psychosocial changes occur. The culmination of these interacting changes often creates a stressful and challenging environment for young adults to navigate, particularly for individuals with AD who experience social and emotional difficulties. Consequently, it is of interest and great importance to study factors, such as EI, that may promote resiliency and successful intra- and interpersonal outcomes in young adults with AD. Although to the best of our knowledge there is no published literature that has examined trait-based and/or ability-based EI and resiliency in young adults with AD, there is some evidence to suggest that fostering resiliency and ability-based EI promotes adaptive outcomes (Edward & Warelow, 2005; Lopes, Salovey, & Cote, & Beers,

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2005). For instance, positive correlational relationships have been found between measures of ability-based EI and the quality of social interactions in typically developing individuals (Mayer et al., 2002). Furthermore, the diagnostic symptomatology of individuals with AD may, in part, reflect the inherent social and emotional struggles that intuitively appear to relate to the construct conceptualized by ability-based EI (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Specifically, individuals with AD typically experience difficulties interpreting nonverbal social cues, understanding affect, and regulating mood. These problems may be affected by difficulties recognizing complex emotions and mental states and using emotions to facilitate thought (Golan, BaronCohen, & Hill, 2006; Klin & Volkmar, 2003). These aforementioned social-emotional difficulties may be viewed as components of an individual's trait- and ability-based EI. Furthermore, robust findings from investigations into theory-of-mind abilities suggest that understanding one's own, as well as others', emotions proves particularly difficult for individuals with AD (Lindner & Rosen, 2006). As such, a closer examination of the relationship between the construct of EI and the social-emotional difficulties unique to individuals with AD represents a critically important step toward extending the resiliency literature in a way that may practically affect intervention. A better understanding of factors that promote resilience (e.g., trait-based and ability-based EI) will enable the development of interventions that support psychological wellness and resilient outcomes among individuals with AD. Previous research with typically developing individuals has suggested that high trait- and ability-based EI is associated with positive psychosocial outcomes and resilience, thereby decreasing levels of psychological distress and depression (Dawda & Hart, 2000; Lopes et al., 2005). The life outcomes of those with AD affect not only those with the disorder but also the families of these individuals, the communities that surround them, and the systems that support them. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the social and emotional abilities exhibited by youth with AD, and an investigation into the factors that promote resilience, holds promise for identifying ways to increase opportunities for positive and resilient outcomes.

Purpose and Research Questions

Given that young adults with AD typically present with many of the risk factors associated with poor life outcomes, such as poor social and adaptive difficulties, we anticipated that this study would help develop a better understanding of protective characteristics, and thus potential interventions, for individuals with AD who may be at high risk for maladaptive outcomes during the transition to adulthood. This study was part of a larger tri-university research initiative aimed at enhancing the understanding of the social-emotional abilities of young adults with AD and identifying factors that might promote resiliency within this population. The specific purpose of this study was to examine resiliency as it relates to trait- and ability-based models of EI in young adults with AD. We examined the following research questions:

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1. Is there a relationship between trait-based EI, as measured by the short form of the Bar-On EQ-i (EQ-i:S), and adaptive outcomes in young adults with AD, as measured by the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents (Resiliency Scales; Prince-Embury, 2006), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Pavot & Diener, 1993), and Behaviour Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004)? 2. Is there a relationship between ability-based EI, as measured by the MSCEIT, and adaptive outcomes in young adults with AD as measured by the Resiliency Scales, SWLS, and BASC-2?

Method

Participants

A total of 39 participants were recruited as part of the larger multiuniversity initiative. Participants were recruited from local schools, mental health settings, university clinics, and service organizations for those with autism spectrum disorder in Alberta and Manitoba. Eight female participants were excluded from the data analyses because of the small amount of female participant data collected (arguably reflective of the more prevalent diagnosis of AD in males as compared to females) and to ensure a homogenous group. Four potential participants were also excluded because of failure to meet language criteria, with another two participants excluded as they did not meet diagnostic criteria. Failure to meet the intellectual abilities criteria resulted in the exclusion of an additional four participants, and one participant was excluded for failure to meet the cutoff score on the Krug Asperger's Disorder Index (KADI). Participants meeting inclusion criteria as outlined in the respective section were 20 males, aged 16 to 21 (M = 17.8 years, SD = 1.20 years), who had been clinically diagnosed with AD by a registered psychologist, psychiatrist, or paediatrician.

Eligibility

Individuals previously diagnosed with AD were required, in collaboration with their parents, to complete research consent forms and a questionnaire to confirm diagnostic history and screen for language delays. When parents were unsure about developmental or language delays, a researcher asked specific questions related to early childhood (e.g., Did your child receive speech and language therapy before the age of 3? Did your physician have any developmental concerns before your child was 3?). Furthermore, some parents provided early documentation on development in the form of baby books or early school reports to assist in this process. To further determine eligibility, all participants were administered the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI; Wechsler, 1999). The WASI provides a brief measure of general intellectual ability that includes Verbal, Performance, and

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Full Scale Intelligence Quotients (FSIQ). Participants were required to obtain a FSIQ greater than 85 to ensure that they displayed cognitive abilities consistent with a diagnosis of AD. Among participants, scores on the FSIQ ranged from 88 to 138, with a mean of 113.55 (SD = 12.34). Overall, there were 12 participants who displayed scores in the average range (FSIQ of 85 to 115), seven in the high average range (FSIQ of 116 to 130), and one in the superior range (FSIQ > 130). The KADI (Krug & Arick, 2003) was completed by parents to assist in the validation of the original AD diagnosis. The KADI is a brief, 32-item screening instrument used for identifying individuals with AD that yields a standard score that can be classified into five descriptive categories that represent the likelihood of an AD diagnosis (extremely low, low, somewhat likely, high, and very high; Krug, & Arick, 2003). A KADI Index score of 70 (15th percentile and higher) was used as the cutoff criterion for eligibility to obtain a prototypical sample. Participants' scores on the KADI ranged from 75 to 118, with a mean of 92.10 (SD = 12.42). Participants whose ratings fell within the lower likelihood ranges (scores between 70 and 89) were included because they exhibited some of the defining characteristics of AD, had been previously diagnosed with AD by at least one professional, and met the FSIQ and language eligibility criteria.

Procedures

Participants meeting the eligibility criteria completed the MSCEIT (Mayer et al., 2002), the EQ-i:S (Bar-On, 2005), the Resiliency Scales (Prince-Embury, 2006), the SWLS (Pavot & Diener, 1993), and the Self-Report Form (SRP) of the BASC-2 (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004). Parents or guardians of eligible participants completed the Parent Report Form (PRS) of the BASC-2 (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004). The order of instrument administration was randomized to prevent order effects.

Measures

Bar-On EQ-i:S. The Bar-On EQ-i:S is designed to assess the key aspects that define emotionally intelligent behaviour in individuals 16 years of age and older. Participants are required to rate themselves using a 5-point Likert-type scale that ranges from very seldom true of me to very often true of me. The Bar-On EQ-i:S provides scores for (a) Intrapersonal EQ (measuring self-awareness and self-expression), (b) Interpersonal EQ (measuring social awareness and interpersonal relationships), (c) Stress Management EQ (measuring emotional management and regulation), and (d) Adaptability EQ (measuring change management). A full scale emotional quotient score (Total EQ), an Inconsistency Index to detect random responding, a Positive Impression scale to detect individuals who might falsely portray themselves, and a General Mood scale (General Mood EQ) are also generated. Standard scores for the Bar-On EQ-i:S are based on a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.

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MSCEIT. The MSCEIT measures ability-based EI in individuals 17 years and older. For the purpose of this study, participants who were 16 years old were evaluated in relation to normative data for 17-year-olds, as advised by the test authors in the technical manual (Mayer et al., 2002). The MSCEIT is a computer-administered, 141-item measure that yields an overall ability-based EI score and subscale scores for (a) Perceiving Emotions (measures identification and perception of emotions), (b) Facilitating Thought (assesses generation, use, feeling, and communication of emotions), (c) Understanding Emotions (measures combination and progression of emotions through relationship transitions and appreciation of emotional meanings), and (d) Managing Emotions (evaluates openness and modulation of feelings so as to promote personal understanding and growth) (Mayer et al., 2002). Standard scores with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 are generated for this measure. The Resiliency Scales. This 64-item self-report measure is intended to evaluate resiliency (in terms of areas of perceived strength and/or vulnerability) in individuals aged 15 to 18 years. For older respondents, minor modifications to the wording were made to two items with approval of the instrument's developers (Prince-Embury, personal communication, April 14, 2006). This measure taps three major resiliency dimensions: (a) Sense of Mastery (assesses optimism about life, competence, selfefficacy related to developing problem-solving attitudes and strategies), (b) Sense of Relatedness (assesses degree of trust, support, comfort, and tolerance with others), and (c) Emotional Reactivity (measures sensitivity, recovery, and impairment from emotional situations). T-scores (M = 50, SD = 10) are generated, and scores are classified as falling within the average range (45 to 54), above average range (55 to 59), high range (greater than 60), below average range (41 to 44), and low range (less than 40). For the Sense of Mastery and Sense of Relatedness scales, scores within the average and above average range suggest the presence of relative strengths. By contrast, scores within the above average range on the Emotional Reactivity scale suggest the presence of vulnerabilities (Prince-Embury, 2006). The SWLS. The SWLS is a short, five-item instrument designed to measure global cognitive judgments of individual lives. Participants completing the scale are asked to respond using a 7-point Likert-type scale, with response options ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. This measure yields a raw score that may be classified through seven descriptive categories: extremely dissatisfied, dissatisfied, slightly dissatisfied, neutral, slightly satisfied, satisfied, and extremely satisfied (Pavot & Diener, 1993). The BASC-2. The BASC-2 is used to measure behaviour and emotion in individuals 8 to 25 years of age and enables assessment from three vantage points--self, teacher, and parent or caregiver--to obtain a more comprehensive evaluation of the individual. The BASC-2: SRP provides insight into an individual's thoughts and

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feelings, the teacher report scale measures adaptive and maladaptive behaviour in a school setting, and the BASC-2: PRS measures adaptive and maladaptive behaviours in both community and home settings. For the purpose of this study, only the BASC2: SRP and BASC-2: PRS were used. The BASC-2: SRP involves true­false and Likert-type ratings, whereas the BASC-2: PRS utilizes only Likert-type ratings (never, sometimes, often, or always). T-scores from the BASC-2 have a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. High scores (> 70) on BASC-2 clinical scales suggest negative or undesirable characteristics that may negatively interfere with an individual's daily functioning. Conversely, low scores (< 30) on BASC-2 adaptive scales also highlight areas of significant concern. Eleven scales (Interpersonal Relations, Self-Esteem, and Self-Reliance from the BASC-2: SRP; Adaptability, Leadership, Social Skills, Activities of Daily Living, Functional Communication, Developmental Social Discord, Emotional Self-Control, and Resiliency from the BASC-2: PRS) and two composites (Personal Adjustment from the BASC-2: SRP; Adaptive Skills from the BASC-2: PRS) were utilized in this study. These scales were chosen as they reflect important adaptive outcomes that may have importance in light of a resiliency framework.

Results

Data Analysis

Our sample means for each measure were compared to those of the general normative sample, as reported in each respective technical manual. Comparisons were made via t tests with a Bonferroni correction for each measure. Second, correlations were computed to detect relationships between trait-based and ability-based EI, as measured by the Bar-On EQ-i:S and the MSCEIT, respectively, and resilient outcomes, as measured by SWLS, Resiliency Scales, BASC-2: SRP, and BASC-2: PRS. Given the exploratory nature of this study and the small sample size, a conservative alpha value of p < .01 was utilized in all data analyses. Thus, only those relationships that were found to be highly significant are discussed as important findings for this group. The mean and standard deviation data for the Bar-On EQ-i:S and MSCEIT are presented in Table 1, and the resiliency measures (Resiliency Scales, SWLS, BASC2: SRP, and BASC-2: PRS) are presented in Table 2. The values for these resiliency measures are reported as T-scores with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10, with the exception of the SWLS, which utilizes a numerical range to indicate an individual's level of life satisfaction.

EI

One-sample t tests with a Bonferroni correction were utilized within each group of comparisons to control for inflation of the error rate. As mentioned previously, a

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Table 1 Means and Standard Deviations for the Emotional Quotient (EQ) Measures

Measure Bar-On EQ-i:S Intrapersonal Interpersonal Stress Management Adaptability Total EQ MSCEIT Perceiving Emotions Using Emotions Understanding Emotions Managing Emotions Total EQ M SD

88.60 88.50* 90.70 92.75 85.50* 110.76 107.03 122.58* 97.88 102.82

18.45 14.49 21.13 17.62 15.85 22.48 14.92 30.90 12.32 13.37

Note: EQ-i:S = Emotional Quotient Inventory; MSCEIT = Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. *p < .01, two-tailed.

Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations for the Outcome Measures

Measure Resiliency Scales: Sense of Mastery Resiliency Scales: Sense of Relatedness Resiliency Scales: Emotional Reactivity Satisfaction With Life Scale SRP: Personal Adjustment Composite SRP: Interpersonal Relations SRP: Self-Esteem SRP: Self-Reliance PRS: Adaptive Skills Composite PRS: Adaptability PRS: Social Skills PRS: Leadership PRS: Activities of Daily Living PRS: Functional Communication PRS: Development of Social Disorders PRS: Emotional Self-Control PRS: Resiliency Note: SRP = self-report; PRS = parent report. *p < .01, two-tailed. M 46.20 45.10 54.75* 21.65 48.20 46.10 47.75 51.10 41.37* 41.00* 40.21 44.16 40.68* 46.11 69.24* 60.12 36.00* SD 7.59 9.25 8.54 7.24 9.29 10.83 9.78 10.72 7.80 9.19 9.50 7.67 10.82 8.74 10.30 11.35 9.15

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significance level of .01 was set for each group of comparisons. The Total EQ as measured by the Trait scale for the current sample of individuals with AD was significantly lower than for the standardization sample (t(19) = ­4.09, p = .001), as was the Interpersonal scale (t(19) = ­3.549, p = .002). In comparison, the sole MSCEIT scale that significantly differed from the standardization sample was the Understanding Emotions branch score (t(19) = 3.267, p = .004), which, it is interesting to note, was much higher (approximately 1.5 standard deviations) than that of the standardization sample.

Relationship Between EI and Outcomes

The Emotional Reactivity scale of the Resiliency Scales was significantly higher than the normative sample for this measure (t(19) = 2.959, p = .008). In addition, several scales from the BASC-2 PRS significantly differed from the normative sample. Specifically, the Adaptive Skills Composite (t(19) = ­4.83, p < .001), Adaptability scale (t(19) = ­4.27, p < .001), Activities of Daily Living scale (t(19) = ­3.752, p = .001), and the Resiliency scale (t(19) = ­6.312, p < .001) were all significantly below the normative sample, whereas the Development of Social Disorders scale (t(19) = 7.701, p < .001) was significantly higher. One of the primary purposes of this investigation was to examine the relationship between two different measures of EI and resiliency measures within the AD population. Correlations between the EI scales and the resiliency measures appear in Table 3. Regarding the Bar-On EQ-i:S, the Total EQ positively correlated with the Sense of Relatedness subscale (r = .644, p = .02) and negatively correlated with the Emotional Reactivity scale (r = ­.626, p = .003) of the Resiliency Scales. In addition, the Total EQ was positively correlated with the Personal Adjustment Composite (r = .748, p < .001) and the Interpersonal Relations scale (r = .740, p < .001) of the BASC-2: SRP. The Intrapersonal scale of the Bar-On EQ-i:S was negatively correlated with the Emotional Reactivity scale of the Resiliency Scales (r = ­.651, p = .002). The Adaptability scale of the Bar-On EQ-i:S was positively correlated with the Sense of Mastery scale of the Resiliency Scales (r = .581, p = .007). The Stress Management scale of the Bar-On EQ-i:S displayed the strongest correlations with resilient outcomes. Moderate, positive correlations were observed between the Stress Management and the SWLS (r = .457, p = .048), the Personal Adjustment Composite (r = .528, p = .017), the Interpersonal Relations (r = .740, p = .003), and the Self-Esteem scale (r = .567, p = .009) of the BASC-2: SRP. In contrast, the Stress Management scale was negatively correlated with the Emotional Reactivity scale of the Resiliency Scales (r = ­.829, p < .001) and the Emotional Self-Control scale of the BASC-2 PRS (r = ­.525, p = .031). Comparatively, the only scale on the MSCEIT that showed a significant correlation with an outcome measure was the Understanding Emotions scale, which had a significant positive correlation with the SWLS (r = .609, p = .004), suggesting a relative strength in understanding emotional information.

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84 .18 .34 ­.65* .15 .67* .76* .36 .40 ­.09 ­.10 ­.18 ­.04 .15 ­.04 ­.13 .10 .20 .35 .31 .20 ­.74 .15 .14 ­.14 .29 .06 ­.10 ­.11 ­.01 .07 .08 .05 .12 ­.12 .08 .42 ­.83* .46* .53* .64* .57* .10 ­.03 .05 ­.13 ­.12 .22 ­.13 ­.26 ­.53* .32 .58* .29 .17 .09 .21 ­.11 ­.17 .40 .23 .20 .40 .25 .09 ­.06 ­.22 ­.12 .10 ­.20 ­.26 ­.05 .11 ­.15 ­.11 .16 ­.25 .30 .07 .20 .06 .25 .44 .16 .19 ­.15 ­.19 .09 ­.23 .38 .06 .01 .29 ­.19 .10 .09 ­.23 ­.15 .12 .31 .39 .22 ­.31 .10 .42 ­.16 .61* .28 .15 .40 .04 .05 .25 ­.28 ­.09 .06 .02 .04 ­.15 .08 .04 .10 .41 ­.18 ­.02 ­.19 ­.31 .32 .14 .02 ­.11 .35 .03 .22 ­.18 .22 .24

Table 3 Correlations Between the Emotional Quotient and Outcome Measures

EQ-i:S MSCEIT MSCEIT MSCEIT MSCEIT EQ-i:S EQ-i:S EQ-i:S Stress EQ-i:S Perceiving Using Understanding Managing Total EQ Intrapersonal Interpersonal Management Adaptability Emotions Emotions Emotions Emotions

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Resiliency Scales: Sense of Mastery Resiliency Scales: Sense of Relatedness Resiliency Scales: Emotional Reactivity Satisfaction With Life Scale SRP: Personal Adjustment Composite SRP: Interpersonal Relations SRP: Self-Esteem SRP: Self-Reliance PRS: Adaptive Skills Composite PRS: Adaptability PRS: Social Skills PRS: Leadership PRS: Activities of Daily Living PRS: Functional Communication PRS: Development of Social Disorders PRS: Emotional Self-Control PRS: Resiliency

.42 .64* ­.63* .40 .75* .74* .43 .44 .03 .08 ­.14 ­.03 .22 ­.06 ­.27 ­.30 .33

Note: -: = Emotional Quotient Inventory; MSCEIT = Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test; SRP = self-report; PRS = parent report. *p < .01, two-tailed.

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Discussion

To date, various explanatory hypotheses have been advanced to explain the cognitive, affective, and behavioural characteristics of children and youth with AD, including impairments in executive functioning, theory of mind, and weak central coherence. We saw congruence between the constructs tapped by new measures of EI and the symptom patterns characteristic of AD. We were interested in determining if youth with this condition manifested deficits in EI and if domains of EI were related to various resiliency factors in this population. We started this examination by comparing the scores of youth on measures of traitand ability-based measures of EI (Bar-On EQ-i:S-S and MSCEIT, respectively) to those of the normative groups. The findings revealed that our youth with AD consistently reported themselves lower than the normative group on all components of the EQ-i:S (on average, two thirds of a standard deviation below the mean) and significantly lower than the normative sample on the Total EQ and Interpersonal domains. However, the standard deviations on this measure point to the somewhat heterogeneous makeup of AD youth. Our youth were slightly below average, relative to the standardization sample, in the competencies, skills, and facilitators underlying self-regard, emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, independence, self-actualization, stress tolerance, impulse control, flexibility, and problem solving and significantly below the normative group in empathy, social responsibility, interpersonal relationships, optimism, and happiness. It is interesting, however, that no differences were observed between our youth with AD and the normative group on the ability-based measure of EI (i.e., MSCEIT), except on the Understanding Emotions branch score, where they scored significantly higher than did the standardization sample. To fully understand these results, it is important that we revisit the measures that were used to assess EI. Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2004) conceptualize EI as a member of a class of intelligences including the social, practical, and personal intelligences, which they call "hot." The label refers to the fact that these intelligences operate on hot cognitions--"cognitions dealing with matters of personal and emotional importance to the individual" (p. 197). The MSCEIT operationalizes EI within the confines of the standard criteria for intelligence; that is, it assesses EI as a cognitive ability. To evaluate EI, respondents are asked to complete tasks tapping experiential (i.e., ability to perceive, respond, and manipulate emotional content without necessarily understanding it) and strategic (i.e., ability to understand and manage emotions without necessarily perceiving or fully understanding them) EI. Emotional understanding, the branch on which our youth scored significantly higher than did the normative group, is a component of experiential EI and evaluates the ability to understand complex emotions and recognize transitions from one to other. In contrast, the Bar-On model describes emotional-social intelligence as a crosssection of noncognitive interrelated emotional and social capabilities, skills, and facilitators that affect intelligent behaviour. Unlike the MSCEIT, which evaluates the

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higher-order processes that mediate emotions and social behaviour, the Bar-On EQi:S focuses on behaviour: "The EQ-I is a self-report measure of emotionally and socially intelligent behaviour that provides an estimate of emotional-social intelligence" (Bar-On, 2006, p. 13) across intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptability, and stress management domains. Thus, the scale essentially measures what one "does" as opposed to directly assessing emotional and social cognitive capacity. Construct validation studies affirm that these tests are measuring divergent aspects of EI. For example, there is weak overlap between the MSCEIT and the EQ-i (Mayer et al., 2004). Although the MSCEIT does not correlate highly with personality measures (Brackett & Mayer, 2003; Lopes, Salovey, & Straus, 2003), strong correlations are observed between the EQ-i and personality measures (Matthews, Roberts, & Zeidner, 2003). Furthermore, the MSCEIT moderately correlates with IQ (Brackett & Mayer, 2003), but correlations between the EQ-i and cognitive ability as measured by standardized tests are negligible (Van Rooy, Phuta, & Viswesraran, 2004; Van Rooy & Viswesraran, 2004). Our findings indicated that in response to a structured test format, youth with AD were intact in their capacity to reason about emotions and, of emotions, enhance thinking. This included their abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions. Indeed, our youth demonstrated a relative strength in the ability to understand complex emotions and recognize transitions from one emotion to another. However, applying these understandings to everyday interpersonal interactions appears problematic for these youth. Their lower scores on the EQ-i:S scales suggest that their enactment of emotionally intelligent behaviour may be compromised. It is interesting that the fact that these youth rated themselves lower than the normative group on this measure implies they have cognitive insight into this behavioural deficit. The literature provides examples of other groups of children who demonstrate a disconnect between "knowing" and "doing." For example, research has established that youngsters with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have the requisite social-emotional skills and knowledge but demonstrate problems doing what they know they should do (Barkley, 1990, 1997). Given this profile, Barkley (1997, p. 335) argued that a focus on identifying deficits in behavioural performance is more useful in indicating the presence of the disorder than focusing on deficits in knowledge. This advice may also hold in assessing and diagnosing AD. Recent research exploring the neural substrates of cognitive versus EI has found that although the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is thought to govern key aspects of cognitive function (J. Duncan, 2001), the neural systems that support trait-based EI overlap with neural systems subserving somatic state activation and personal judgment in decision making (i.e., ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and insular regions; Bar-On, Tranel, Denburg, & Bechara, 2003). Bar-On and colleagues (2003) found that competencies most affected by damage to the neural circuitry associated

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with somatic markers involved the ability to be aware of oneself and one's emotions, express oneself and one's feelings, manage and control emotions, adapt flexibly to change and solve problems of a personal nature, and motivate oneself and mobilize positive effect. To date, no studies have examined the anatomical foundations for the abilities measured by the MSCEIT. Because this measure focuses more on the cognitive aspects of self-regulation and emotional understanding, we would anticipate that the cortical structures underlying it would also show some similarity to those that support cognitive and intellectual functioning. Neuropsychological research focused on clarifying these issues is essential to understanding and strengthening EI and resiliency in youth with AD. The examination of our youths' scores on various measures of resiliency suggested vulnerabilities in a number of areas. Compared to the normative sample, our youth perceived themselves to be deficient in emotional resiliency (i.e., to be overly sensitive and show less capacity to recover from emotionally laden situations). Compared to same-aged youth, parents rated our participants as highly resistant to change, developmentally immature in daily living skills, and unable to use internal and external support systems to alleviate stress and overcome adversity. Their ratings also revealed that our youth displayed a constellation of behaviours characterized by deficits in social skills, communication, interests, and activities (including self-stimulatory, withdrawal, and inappropriate socialization behaviours). Although some of these characteristics are expected given the diagnostic criteria for AD, others (e.g., inability to use resources to recover from stress) suggest that their competencies in coping with the adversities caused by their condition are compromised. Our specific intent in this study was to examine the correlational relationships between various domains of EI and resiliency outcomes. The findings reveal that, in our youth, the competencies, skills, and facilitators associated with EI show strong relationships with various resiliency factors. Several of the trait-based scales of EI (Total EQ, Stress Management, and Intrapersonal) correlated significantly with selfand parent-report scales tapping emotional reactivity and self-control and self-reported interpersonal relationships. Various neural networks within the cerebellum, the prefrontal cortex, the medial temporal lobe, and related limbic system structures are associated with functions related to emotional regulation, emotional hyperreactivity, low frustration tolerance, and lack of concern for others or empathy (Courchesne, Townsend, & Chase, 1995; Rolls, Hurnak, Wade, & McGrath, 1994) and with aspects of EI, as we previously noted. It may be that the relationships we are observing among measures of trait-based EI, emotional reactivity, and problems in relating to others stem from common brain abnormalities. The correlational patterns between the Adaptability and Stress Management scales of the Bar-On and various intrapersonal resiliency factors appear more directional. Although difficulty adjusting to novel events or situations and poor emotional control are again linked to prefrontal abnormalities, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and general life satisfaction emerge, in large part, as a function of one's experience of support from others and sense of self-competence

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in areas of adaptive importance (Mash & Wolfe, 1999). We speculate that neurological impairments that limit youth with AD in adapting to change and exercising emotional self-control lead to failure in interpersonal contexts that, in turn, negatively affect intrapersonal development.

Implications

There is growing evidence documenting the neurological basis of autism spectrum disorders; however, it has only been in recent years that such focus has been directed toward the AD population. Preliminary evidence suggests that abnormalities in the medial temporal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, and related limbic system structures may be explanatory of the disorder. These same neuropsychological factors are thought to underlie deficits in trait-based EI and pose a significant risk factor to positive life outcomes. However, emerging research suggesting that trait-based EI can be significantly enhanced within a matter of a few weeks as a result of training (Bar-On, 2003, 2004; Hansen, 2006) offers hope for altering the risk trajectory. Because ability-based EI in youth with AD is intact, it is clear that interventions focusing on the training of knowledge about emotional interactions (e.g., teaching youth how to identify emotions, communicate feelings, understand emotional information, express affection) will have limited utility. Rather, interventions directed toward ensuring the contextually appropriate behavioural enactment of social and emotional knowledge and skills are fundamental. Such interventions should be implemented not in highly structured settings but in the contexts in which they are required. Increased focus on providing opportunities for supported practice in these settings, with gradual removal of supports as competence increases, will enhance the independent performance of these competencies in real-life settings and should serve to strengthen resiliency.

Limitations

The primary limitation of this study is its small sample size. It is possible that the small sample size, combined with the use of conservative procedures, greatly diminished our ability to detect relationships between the Bar-On EQ-i:S and the MSCEIT and resilient outcomes (as measured by the Resiliency Scales, SWLS, and selected BASC-2 scales). Despite this, calculated effect sizes for all statistically significant relationships reported fell within the moderate range (Bordens, & Abbott, 1978). Another limitation of this study was the exclusion of female participants. One could argue, however, that this distribution is most representative of the AD population, as males are more often diagnosed with the disorder than are females (Ehlers & Gillberg, 1993). Future research into the realm of trait- and ability-based EI in this population may wish to examine the relationship between gender and resiliency. Furthermore, self-report measures of resiliency were used in our explorations. Consequently, the perceptions of the research participants were the primary sources of

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information. Future research should collect comprehensive information about resiliency from peer and parent reports, expert observations, performance-based measures, and measures of "real-life" outcomes (e.g., employment status and mental wellness) to provide a more holistic understanding of resiliency in young adults with AD. Studies exploring the convergence between self-ratings and other ratings, and observational techniques, in this population are indicated. Finally, this study was correlational in nature, and as such no examination of causation or directionality was possible. Future research aimed at measuring the constructs of EI and resiliency using experimental designs will be instrumental in furthering our knowledge in this area.

Future Directions and Conclusions

This study was one of the first, if not the first, to examine the relationship between trait- and ability-based EI and resiliency. We suggest that trait-based EI may predict important outcomes for this group. Consequently, future study in this area would likely benefit from systematic investigation of the predictive value of EQ in determining resiliency and the possibility that further development of EQ might enhance resilient outcomes for individuals with AD. Furthermore, as we have already noted, studies exploring the neurological substrates of EI in youth with AD are essential to understanding how best to promote resiliency in this population.

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Spear, L. P. (2000b). Neurobehavioral changes in adolescence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(4), 111-114. Tager-Flusberg, H., Joseph, R. M., & Folstein, S. (2001). Current directions in research on autism. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 7, 21-29. Tantam, D. (2000). Psychological disorder in adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. Autism, 4, 47-62. Thorndike, E. L. (1920). Intelligence and its uses. Harper's Magazine, 140, 227-235. Van Rooy, D. L., Phuta, P., & Viswesraran, C. (2004). An evaluation of construct validity: What is this thing called emotional intelligence. Unpublished manuscript. Van Rooy, D. L., & Viswesraran, C. (2004). Emotional intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation of predictive ability and nomological validity. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 65, 71-95. Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Harcourt Assessment. Werner, E. E. (2001). Journeys from childhood to midlife: Risk, resilience, and recovery. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Werner, E. E., & Smith, R. S. (1982). Vulnerable but invincible: A longitudinal study of resilient children and young adults. New York: McGraw-Hill. Janine M. Montgomery is an assistant professor in the department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She teaches in the school psychology program and maintains an active clinical research program focussed on working with children, youth, and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Vicki L. Schwean is associate dean and professor in the Division of Applied Psychology. Her teaching and research are focused on developmental psychopathology. Jo-Anne G. Burt is a master's student in the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary. Her current research focuses on Asperger's disorder and trait-based emotional intelligence and resilience. Danielle I. Dyke is a doctoral student and registered provisional psychologist in the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary who is primarily interested in research and clinical practice with adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Keoma J. Thorne is a master's of science student in the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary. She is investigating resilience and severity of autistic symptomotology in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Yvonne L. Hindes is a doctoral student in the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary. She has written and presented on young adults with Asperger's disorder, theory of mind, and resiliency. Adam W. McCrimmon is a doctoral student in the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary. He has researched and worked with children, young adults, and adults with autism spectrum disorders for 10 years. Candace S. Kohut is a master's student in the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary. Her current research focuses on ability-based emotional intelligence and resilience in individuals with Asperger's disorder.

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