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Temperament and character in adults with Asperger syndrome.

Journal article
Authors Henrik Söderström
Maria Råstam
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Autism
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 287-297
ISSN 1362-3613
Publication year 2002
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Pages 287-297
Language en
Keywords Adaptation, Psychologica,l Adolescent, Adult, Asperger Syndrome, Psychology, Character, Cooperative Behavior, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Disorders, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Etiology, Personality Inventory, Temperament
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences, Psychiatry


To study the personality characteristics of adults with Asperger syndrome, and investigate the value of self-rating personality inventories, we administered the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) to 31 outpatients with Asperger syndrome. The TCI is a self-rating personality inventory that has been validated in the Swedish general population. The results were compared with age- and sex-matched norm groups. Participants with Asperger syndrome scored significantly higher on harm avoidance and lower on self-directedness and cooperativeness. Reward dependence and novelty seeking tended to be low. They also had significantly higher rarity scores, reflecting idiosyncratic perspectives. The most common temperament configurations were ‘obsessional’, ‘passive-dependent’ and ‘explosive’. Character, reflecting conceptual maturity, was poorly developed in the majority of our subjects. The self-ratings of persons with Asperger syndrome thus indicated anxious personalities with coping difficulties in the areas of social interaction and self-directedness, a picture corresponding to the clinical descriptions of Asperger syndrome.

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