Elucidation of psychosocial factors and cognitive function that form the risk of developing secondary disorders of developmental disorders
Our research project aims to construct a database of cognitive functions and various characteristics of people with developmental disorders, e.g., autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, in order to elucidate the risk of secondary disorders, and to develop methods of prevention and intervention. It is well known that people with developmental disorders are at high risk of mental and behavioral problems such as anxiety and addiction, but the pathways to the onset of these problems are not clear. We hypothesized that the risk of secondary disorders in people with developmental disorders originates in cognitive difficulties (e.g., social and attentional atypicalities) persisting from birth. To examine this hypothesis, we aim to identify risk factors for the development of secondary disorders, based on the data we will collect.
Target data from children with developmental disorders will be measured at two points, implementation and a one-year follow-up, to understand the existing situation and to examine how secondary disorders change during the short-term. The collected data will include characteristics of developmental disorders such as cognitive functions, personality traits and other internal aspects of the individual, and living environment. We set a first goal to identify the risk of secondary disorders based on short-term changes, and to create a foundation that allows us to continue data collection beyond this research period. As we achieve construction of the database, we can provide clues to understand how stress caused by environmental changes affects the expression of symptoms and cognitive processing of developmental disorders in the future. Finally, by clarifying the pathway to secondary disorders, we will be able to identify the risk and protective factors, to prevent secondary disorders, develop effective intervention methods, and provide appropriate public support.
- Clarify the cognitive characteristics associated with the development of short-term secondary disorders and psychosocial factors such as abuse and bullying among children with developmental disorders in Japan.
- Reveal the long-term risk of developing secondary disorders by establishing a database and obtaining data on an ongoing basis.
- Evolution of methods to prevent secondary disorders in children with developmental disorders, and to enable the children to access medical, welfare, and educational initiatives supporting those at high risk.
Comment from the Principal Investigator
It is well known that people with developmental disorders are at higher risk of developing secondary disorders and that their cognitive processing of social information is different. However, the causes of long-term risk of secondary disorders are still unknown. There is an urgent need to create a database that allows continuous data measurement for the development of early intervention and prevention methods. In this project, we establish the foundation for the construction of a database and examine the effects of short-term changes on the development of secondary disorders. We expect that this study stimulates the further development of prevention and intervention methods for secondary disorders in children with developmental disorders.