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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 8, 699 - 707

New research

Personality traits in adults with autism spectrum disorders measured by means of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI)

R. Vuijk, P.F.A. de Nijs, S.G. Vitale, M. Simons-Sprong, M.W. Hengeveld

background There is growing interest in autism spectrum disorders (asd) in adulthood. Someone can be diagnosed with asd, but the diagnosis tells us very little about the patient’s temperament, character and personality. Comparatively little is known about the personality traits of persons with asd.
aim To map personality traits of persons with asd.
method The Temperament and Character Inventory (tci) was administered to a group of 68 men diagnosed with asd at the Lucertis Sarr expertise centre for Autism and at the Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus mc, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The control group, specified in the instructions for the tci, consisted of a group of 447 men from the general population.
results Compared to the control group, men with asd scored higher on the scale Harm Avoidance, but lower on Sociability, Novelty Seeking, Reward Dependence, Self-directedness, and Cooperativeness.
conclusion The score pattern found in men with asd is consistent with the clinical picture of asd and corresponds to earlier results of research done in Sweden. In our study we argue that negatively interpreted temperament and character traits can often be interpreted in a positive way.

keywords autism, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s disorder, character, personality, temperament