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Exploring the Influence of Object Similarity and Desirability on Children’s Ownership Identification and Preferences in Autism and Typical Development

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number6
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)2362-2372
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study investigated how ownership identification accuracy and object preferences in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are influenced by visual distinctiveness and relative desirability. Unlike typically developing (TD) children matched on receptive language (M age equivalents: 58.8–59.9 months), children with ASD had difficulty identifying another person’s property when object discriminability was low and identifying their own relatively undesirable objects. Children with ASD identified novel objects designated to them with no greater accuracy than objects designated to others, and associating objects with the self did not bias their preferences. We propose that, due to differences in development of the psychological self, ownership does not increase the attentional or preferential salience of objects for children with ASD.