Socio-emotional concern dynamics in a model of real-time dyadic interaction: parent-child play in autism

Casper Hesp, Henderien Steenbeek, Paul van Geert

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Abstract

We used a validated agent-based model—Socio-Emotional CONcern DynamicS (SECONDS)—to model real-time playful interaction between a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and its parent. SECONDS provides a real-time (second-by-second) virtual environment that could be used for clinical trials and testingprocess-orientedexplanationsofASDsymptomatology.Weconductednumerical experiments with SECONDS (1) for internal model validation comparing two parental behavioral strategies for stimulating social development in ASD (play-centered vs. initiative-centered) and (2) for empirical case-based model validation. We compared 2,000 simulated play sessions of two particular dyads with (second-by-second) time-series observations within 29 play sessions of a real parent-child dyad with ASD on six variables related to maintaining and initiating play. Overall, both simuladistributions. Given the idiosyncratic behaviors expected in ASD, the observed correspondence is non-trivial. Our results demonstrate the applicability of SECONDS to parent-child dyads in ASD. In the future, SECONDS could help design interventions for parental care in ASDted dyads provided a better fit to the observed dyad than reference null
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in psychology
Volume10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • parent-child relationship
  • dynamic approach
  • developmental psychology
  • autism

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