Title

Assessing Expressed Emotion Influences on Autistic Symptoms/Behaviors: A School Social Worker Perspective

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2013

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Michael G. Chovanec

Abstract

This research paper explores how components of Expressed Emotion (Critical Comments, Emotional Over-involvement, Warmth) experienced in the classroom are influencing student behavior and symptoms for students with Autism. Qualitative data was collected from one school social worker. This study confirms and builds upon previous research on Critical Comments and Warmth. Critical comments, especially when delivered by a staff member poorly, increased maladaptive behavior and decreased social interaction and communication. Warmth inversely decreased maladaptive behaviors while increasing communication and social interaction. Emotional Over-involvement was dependent upon the individual student and neither confirms or rejects previous research. Each member of the classroom group impacted how these Expressed Emotion components were expressed. Staff that were well educated and/or experienced in working with students with Autism were described as displaying high levels of Warmth. Study limitations and recommendations for future research are also discussed.

Keywords

autism, expressed emotion, critical comments, warmth

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.