Explicit and implicit self-esteem in youth with autism spectrum disorders
Autism p. 1- 12
Although the link between self-esteem and psychopathology has been well established, studies on self-esteem in individuals with autism spectrum disorder are lacking. In this study, we aimed to (1) compare explicit and implicit selfesteem of youth with autism spectrum disorder to typically developing peers and to (2) explore relationships of implicit-, explicit-, and discrepant self-esteem measures with co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems in youth with autism spectrum disorder. For this purpose, 25 individuals with autism spectrum disorder and 24 individuals as ageand intelligence quotient–matched controls aged 8–16 years participated in this study. Results showed lower explicit self-esteem in autism spectrum disorder compared to typically developing youth and no differences in implicit selfesteem between groups. In youth with autism spectrum disorder, low explicit self-esteem was related to co-occurring depression symptoms, whereas lower implicit self-esteem was related to externalizing symptoms. These results show that youth with autism spectrum disorder are at risk for developing low explicit self-esteem, which appears to be related to often co-occurring internalizing symptoms. This emphasizes the need to focus more on self-esteem in assessment and treatment of youth with autism spectrum disorder.