Local-global processing and co-occurrence of anxiety, autistic and obsessive-compulsive traits in a non-clinical sample

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Purpose: Increased local-to-global interference has been found in those with ASD, AD and OCD, and as such, may represent a transdiagnostic marker. As a first step to investigating this, we aimed to assess the overlap in traits of these disorders in a non-clinical sample, and whether local-global processing relates to the traits of the three conditions.
Methods: Participants (n=149) completed questionnaires including the Autism Quotient (AQ), the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory (OCI-R) and the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and an online version of the Navon task. Behavioural metrics of interference and precedence were extracted from the task and correlated with trait scores.
Results: We found moderate to strong correlations between the total scores for ASD, anxiety and OCD. Most local-global processing indices did not relate to traits.
Conclusion: The study found evidence for an overlap in autism, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive traits in a non-clinical sample. However, local-global processing, as measured by the Navon task, did not appear to underpin symptomatology in the sample and could not be considered a transdiagnostic marker. Future research should investigate the value of alternate metrics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Dec 2022

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