Although not used as a diagnostic criterion, impaired emotion regulation is frequently observed in autism. The present study examined self-reported use of emotion regulation strategies in individuals scoring low or high on autistic traits. In addition, the late positive potential, which is sensitive to emotional arousal, was used to examine the effect of one strategy, reappraisal. Reporting more autistic traits was related to using more maladaptive and fewer adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Across both groups, no attenuation of the late positive potential during downregulation of unpleasant pictures was found, possibly because of the used valence-changing reappraisal operationalisation. Hence, although self-report indicated impaired emotion regulation in individuals high on autistic traits, electrophysiological findings could not confirm this.

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Keywords Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Autism spectrum hypothesis, Emotion regulation, Late positive potential (LPP), Reappraisal
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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
de Groot, K. (Kristel), & van Strien, J.W. (2017). Self-Report and Brain Indicators of Impaired Emotion Regulation in the Broad Autism Spectrum. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(7), 2138–2152. doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3138-9