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Rosalyn D. DeVincentis, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, Committee Chair
  • E. Porter Eagan, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Gina Pasquale, PsyD, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

The relationship between mentalization, affect regulation, and the quality of object relations among individuals with an autism spectrum disorder was explored. The findings could be used as conceptual support for the use of psychodynamic psychotherapy in the treatment of people on the autism spectrum. The study consisted of a retrospective analysis of neuropsychological assessment standard scores on three measures (Mutuality of Autonomy Scale, NEPSY-II Theory of Mind subtest, and the CBCL Dysregulated Profile). Forty-four subjects diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder —aged nine to sixteen—were compared with a matched non-autism clinical sample. The results supported the hypothesis that individuals with an autism spectrum disorder have less capacity for mentalization compared to the comparison subjects and the general population. The findings did not support more affect dysregulation among those with autism compared to the comparison group, and did not find heightened affect dysregulation in comparison to the general population. Additionally, the study did not confirm that as mentalization capacity decreases affect dysregulation increases. As was hypothesized, the absolute level of object relations was in the average range among individuals with autism.

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Rosalyn D. DeVincentis

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-6094-6090

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