Highways to happiness for autistic adults? Perceived causal relations among clinicians

Marie K Deserno, Denny Borsboom, Sander Begeer, Riet van Bork, Max Hinne, Hilde M Geurts

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The network approach to psychological phenomena advances our understanding of the interrelations between autism and well-being. We use the Perceived Causal Relations methodology in order to (i) identify perceived causal pathways in the well-being system, (ii) validate networks based on self-report data, and (iii) quantify and integrate clinical expertise in autism research. Trained clinicians served as raters (N = 29) completing 374 cause-effects ratings of 34 variables on well-being and symptomatology. A subgroup (N = 16) of raters chose intervention targets in the resulting network which we found to match the respective centrality of nodes. Clinicians' perception of causal relations was similar to the interrelatedness found in self-reported client data (N = 323). We present a useful tool for translating clinical expertise into quantitative information enabling future research to integrate this in scientific studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0243298
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


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