Talk by Dr. Iliana Magiati on “Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autistic traits and anxiety: an overview of our research work on phenomenology, correlated and mediators”

Speaker: Dr. Iliana Magiati

Title: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autistic traits and anxiety: an overview of our research work on phenomenology, correlated and mediators

Date: 3 February, 1-2 pm 

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room) 


Anxiety and related problems are very common in individuals with ASD across the lifespan, with rates much higher compared to the general population and individuals with other disabilities or conditions. A positive relationship has also been consistently found across age groups and cultures between autistic traits – subclinical but elevated ASD-related traits and symptoms found in the general population and in relatives of individuals with ASD- and anxiety. This talk will critically summarize and try to synthesize the work that my students, collaborators and I have carried out in the last 3-4 years in a number of different studies involving individuals with ASD as well as studies investigating autistic traits dimensionally in the general population. These studies have explored individual differences and factors associated with anxiety (i.e. age, gender, autism symptomatology and level of functioning) as well as proposed mediators explaining the relationship (i.e. social competence, sensory issues, social problem solving, intolerance of uncertainty, emotional regulation, etc.). Possible research, theoretical and clinical implications are discussed in light of the strengths and limitations of the research work presented and future directions are also discussed.


Dr. Iliana Magiati is a chartered clinical psychologist and currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at NUS. She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and her PhD at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, in early interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her areas of expertise and interest include the assessment, screening, diagnosis of and interventions for individuals with ASD and other related neurodevelopmental conditions;  mental health and psychopathology in ASD, with a focus on anxiety; long term outcomes in individuals with ASD in adulthood; and the relationship between autistic traits and mental health in the general population. She is a member of the NUS Clinical Psychology Faculty and supervises postgraduate clinical psychology interns on their clinical placements. She is also the research co-ordinator of the NUS and NUS-UM clinical psychology programmes. She is an independent international trainer on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), a gold-standard diagnostic observation tool for ASD. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and of the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder (RASD).

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