Behaviours that Challenge in SATB2-associated Syndrome: Correlates of Self-injury, Aggression and Property Destruction

Lauren Shelley*, Jane Waite, Joanne Tarver, Chris Oliver, Hayley Crawford, Caroline Richards, Stacey Bissell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SATB2-associated syndrome (SAS) is a genetic syndrome characterised by intellectual disability, severe speech delay, and palatal and dental problems. Behaviours that challenge (BtC) are reported frequently; however, there is limited research on specific forms of BtC and the correlates of these behaviours. The current study explores correlates of well-defined BtC, self-injury, aggression, and property destruction, in SAS. Eighty-one parents/caregivers of individuals with SAS (53.1% male, Mage 10.12 years) completed questionnaire measures of health, behavioural, emotional, and autism characteristics. Individuals with SAS were grouped based on caregiver responses to the presence or absence of self-injury, aggression, and property destruction on the Challenging Behaviour Questionnaire. Rates of self-injury, aggression and property destruction were 42%, 77% and 49%, respectively. Between-group comparisons were conducted to compare characteristics between behaviour groups. Significantly differing characteristics were entered into separate hierarchical logistic regressions for each form of BtC. Behavioural comparisons indicated variation in the characteristics associated with each behaviour. All hierarchical logistic regression models were significant (p <.001): self-injury (χ 2(5) = 38.46, R 2 = 0.571), aggression (χ 2(4) = 25.12, R 2 = 0.414), property destruction (χ 2(4) = 23.70, R 2 = 0.346), explaining between 34.6% and 57.1% of the variance in behaviour presence. This is the first study to identify correlates of self-injury, aggression, and property destruction in SAS. Variability in the characteristics associated with each behaviour highlights the importance of specificity when examining BtC. Understanding correlates of specific forms of BtC has important implications for informing SAS-associated pathways to behavioural outcomes and the implementation of tailored behavioural interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date26 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sept 2023

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  • Behaviours that challenge
  • SATB2-associated syndrome
  • Property destruction
  • SATB2
  • Self-injury
  • Aggression


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