References of "Pinto Costa, Andreia 50002862"
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See detailMore Attention and Less Repetitive and Stereotyped Behaviors using a Robot with Children with Autism
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Charpiot, Louise UL; Rodriguez Lera, Francisco Javier UL et al

in 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2018, Nanjing, China, August 27-31, 2018 (2018)

The aim of the present study was to assess the usefulness of QTrobot, a socially assistive robot, in interventions with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by assessing children's attention ... [more ▼]

The aim of the present study was to assess the usefulness of QTrobot, a socially assistive robot, in interventions with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by assessing children's attention, imitation, and presence of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Fifteen children diagnosed with ASD, aged from 4 to 14 years participated in two short interactions, one with a person and one with the robot. Statistical analyses revealed that children directed more attention towards the robot than towards the person, imitated the robot as much as the person, and engaged in fewer repetitive or stereotyped behaviors with the robot than with the person. These results support previous research demonstrating the usefulness of robots in short interactions with children with ASD and provide new evidence to the usefulness of robots in reducing repetitive and stereotyped behaviors in children with ASD, which can affect children's learning. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of alexithymia in parent-child interaction and in the emotional ability of children with autism spectrum disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Vögele, Claus UL

in Autism Research (2018)

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have more emotional difficulties than typically developing (TD) children. Of all the factors that impact children’s emotional development, parents, and the way ... [more ▼]

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have more emotional difficulties than typically developing (TD) children. Of all the factors that impact children’s emotional development, parents, and the way they interact with their children, are of crucial importance. The present study compared the amount of parent-child interactions among 35 dyads of parents and their children with ASD and 41 dyads of parents and their TD children, aged between 3 and 13 years, during a frustration-eliciting situation. We further examined whether children’s alexithymia is linked to parent-child interactions and whether parent-child interactions are linked to children’s emotional difficulties. We found that parents of children with ASD interacted significantly less with their children than parents of TD children. This reduced interaction was better explained by children’s alexithymia than by children’s ASD diagnosis. Finally, parent-child interaction mediated the relationship between children’s ASD diagnosis and children’s emotion regulation ability, as well as some aspects of children’s emotional reactivity but only if not accounting for children’s alexithymia levels. Our results demonstrate the determinant role children’s alexithymia plays on parent-child interactions and on how these interactions are linked to children’s difficulties in emotion regulation and emotional reactivity. Results are discussed in light of how parent-child interactions and the emotional ability of children with ASD can be improved by targeting children’s alexithymia. [less ▲]

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See detailLuxembourg and Autism
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Volkmar, Fred (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders (2018)

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See detailThe coping of bystanders with cyberbullying in an adolescent population
Steffgen, Georges UL; Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Slee, Phillip T.

in Slee, Phillip T.; Skrzypiec, Grace; Cefai, Carmel (Eds.) Child and Adolescent Wellbeing and Violence Prevention in Schools (2018)

Cyberbullying is a serious social phenomenon that occurs in different settings. In line with the participant role approach (Salmivalli, 2010), different bystanders (e.g. assistants, reinforcers, defenders ... [more ▼]

Cyberbullying is a serious social phenomenon that occurs in different settings. In line with the participant role approach (Salmivalli, 2010), different bystanders (e.g. assistants, reinforcers, defenders, and outsiders), likewise cyberbullies, and cybervictims are involved in cyberbullying incidents. The current study explores how participants in cyberbullying incidents differ in coping behaviour. Students of German and Luxembourg secondary schools (n = 367) completed a questionnaire, amongst others, on participant roles and coping. Coping behavior was classified into six strategies: other-focused, self-focused, avoidance, relationships improvement, assertive responses, and technical responses (AUTHORS et al, 2012). These coping behaviors were mostly interrelated. Regression analysis showed that avoidance, self-focused strategies, and assertive responses predicted victimization. Additionally, defender behavior was predicted by reduced technical responses and enhanced other focused strategies. Hence, different actors in cyberbullying incidents differ systematically in coping behavior. The implications of the findings are of relevance for the development of efficient coping-based intervention programs against cyberbullying. In particular, avoidance, self- and other-focused strategies of actors in cyberbullying incidents have to be considered in intervention programs. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes physical learning environment matter? Effects after the move to a new campus on the perception of the quality of studies
Steffgen, Georges UL; Vesely, Jana; Pinto Costa, Andreia UL

Poster (2017, September 18)

The present study examined the effects of a move to a new physical learning environment – Belval Campus – on the students’ satisfaction with the course program in psychology. It was hypothesized that the ... [more ▼]

The present study examined the effects of a move to a new physical learning environment – Belval Campus – on the students’ satisfaction with the course program in psychology. It was hypothesized that the move to a new and modern University campus with better study facilities increases course climate, learning promotion, and skill acquisition. Participants were 538 undergraduate students who completed the Bachelor Evaluation Questionnaire, which assessed the perceived quality of the course program as well as five infrastructure and equipment aspects of the new campus. Findings show that students were more satisfied with the classrooms, the capacity of the rooms, and the library facilities, but there was no increase in perceived course climate, learning promotion, and skill acquisition of the students after 6 months nor after 18 months from the move. The implications of these findings for the need to change physical learning environments are discussed and recommendations for the design of learning environments are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailSocially assistive robots for teaching emotional abilities to children with autism spectrum disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Rodriguez Lera, Francisco Javier UL et al

Scientific Conference (2017, March)

Socially assistive robots, when used in a way that takes into consideration children’s needs and developmental characteristics, can be useful tools to enable children’s development. More specifically, due ... [more ▼]

Socially assistive robots, when used in a way that takes into consideration children’s needs and developmental characteristics, can be useful tools to enable children’s development. More specifically, due to their characteristics (predictability, simplicity, and repetition) robots can be especially helpful to teach emotional abilities to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous research has provided preliminary evidence that robots can help children improve in some domains such as joint attention and imitation. However, no studies have examined how robots can be integrated in intervention protocols targeting the acquisition of emotional abilities in children with ASD. This paper presents a work in progress on an emotional ability training developed for children with ASD using the QT socially assistive robot. This training aims to test whether children with ASD can benefit from a robot-mediated training to improve emotional ability. [less ▲]

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See detailContributors to well-being and stress in parents of children with autism spectrum disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Ferring, Dieter UL

in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (2017)

Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present more well-being and stress problems than parents of typically developing (TD) children. However not all parents present these ... [more ▼]

Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present more well-being and stress problems than parents of typically developing (TD) children. However not all parents present these problems. These problems can be due to a dynamic interaction between environmental antecedents, person antecedents, and mediating processes. Understanding how these factors separately contribute to explain parents’ well-being and stress can have implications for intervention programs. The aim of this study was to explain parents’ subjective well-being and physiological stress by considering whether they had a child with ASD or not and their child’s negativity (environmental antecedents), their perception of their child’s problems (person antecedents), and their use of reappraisal (mediating processes). Method: Thirty-seven parents of children with ASD and 41 parents of TD children reported their subjective well-being and their physiological stress was assessed. Additionally, children’s negativity was observed, parents rated their perception of their child’s problems (autistic traits, emotion regulation ability, and lability/negativity), and parents reported their use of reappraisal. Results: Compared to parents of TD children, parents of children with ASD reported having lower subjective well-being and had increased physiological stress. Parents’ perceptions of children’s lability/negativity and parents’ use of reappraisal were better predictors of parents’ subjective well-being than ASD and parents’ perceptions of children’s lability/negativity contributed to parents’ physiological stress as much as ASD. Conclusions: Prevention and intervention programs targeting parental well-being and stress will benefit from working with parents at the level of perceptual constructs and reappraisal ability. [less ▲]

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See detailExpressive incoherence and alexithymia in autism spectrum disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Samson, Andrea C.

in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2017)

Expressive incoherence can be implicated in socio-emotional communicative problems in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study examined expressive incoherence in 37 children with ASD and 41 ... [more ▼]

Expressive incoherence can be implicated in socio-emotional communicative problems in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study examined expressive incoherence in 37 children with ASD and 41 typically developing (TD) children aged 3–13 years old during a frustration task. The role of alexithymia in expressive incoherence was also assessed. Compared to TD children, children with ASD had higher expressive incoherence, such as more neutral and positive emotion expressions during negative behaviors, but not in the expression of negative emotions during positive behaviors. Further analyses revealed that alexithymia moderated the expressions of positive emotions during negative behaviors. These results suggest that children with ASD may benefit from interventions targeting alexithymia to increase emotional coherence, which may improve socio-emotional communication. [less ▲]

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See detailProCRob Architecture for Personalized Social Robotics
Ziafati, Pouyan; Rodriguez Lera, Francisco Javier UL; Pinto Costa, Andreia UL et al

Scientific Conference (2017)

For robot tutors, autonomy and personalizations are important factors in order to engage users as well as to personalize the content and interaction according to the needs of individuals. This paper ... [more ▼]

For robot tutors, autonomy and personalizations are important factors in order to engage users as well as to personalize the content and interaction according to the needs of individuals. This paper presents the Programming Cognitive Robot (ProCRob) software architecture to target personalized social robotics in two complementary ways. ProCRob supports the development and personalization of social robot applications by teachers and therapists without computer programming background. It also supports the development of autonomous robots which can adapt according to the human-robot interaction context. ProCRob is based on our previous research on autonomous robotics and has been developed since 2015 by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the fields of AI, Robotics and Psychology as well as artists and designers at the University of Luxembourg. ProCRob is currently being used and further developed for therapy of children with autism, and for encouraging rehabilitation activities in patients with post-stroke. This is paper presents a summary of ProCRob and its application in autism. [less ▲]

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See detailCoping with cyberbullying: A comparison between schools
Steffgen, Georges UL; Pinto Costa, Andreia UL

Scientific Conference (2016, July 15)

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See detailEmotional reactivity and emotion regulation in children with autism spectrum disorder.
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and ... [more ▼]

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Additionally, children with ASD often present internalizing and externalizing problems such as anxiety, depression, and conduct problems. These problems can hinder children’s social competence and development and may have repercussions into adolescence and adulthood. It is believed that internalizing and externalizing problems originate from children’s emotional difficulties such as difficulties in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation. The aim of the present thesis was therefore to examine the role of emotional reactivity and emotion regulation in children with ASD. Emotional difficulties in children with ASD may be due to several factors: ASD’s core symptoms, children’s other characteristics such as alexithymia, and parents’ characteristics. The relation between these factors to emotional difficulties in children with ASD have been integrated into a model of the emotional reactivity and emotion regulation difficulties in children with ASD. Based on the model’s assumptions different hypotheses were formulated for the present thesis: (a) ASD’s core symptoms contribute to children’s emotional difficulties by increasing emotional reactivity, decreasing emotion regulation, and increasing emotional incoherence; (b) children’s alexithymia also contributes to children’s emotional difficulties by increasing them; (c) ASD’s core symptoms are related to parents’ characteristics by decreasing parents’ emotion regulation capacity, increasing parents’ stress reaction, and decreasing parents’ frequency of interaction with their children; (d) difficulties in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation in children together with alexithymia are also related to parents’ characteristics; (e) in turn, parents’ frequency of interaction with the child also contributes to children’s difficulties in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation. Applying a multimethod approach where parents-reports, parents’ self-reports, observations, and physiological indicators were used, 37 children with ASD and 66 typically developing (TD) children and their parents were assessed. It was found that: (a) children with ASD had more emotional reactivity, less emotion regulation ability, and more emotional incoherence than TD children; (b) children’s alexithymia contributed more than ASD diagnosis to the explanation of some aspects of emotional reactivity and emotional incoherence but not of emotion regulation; (c) parents of children with ASD had more emotion regulation difficulties, more stress, and interacted less frequently with their children than parents of TD children; (d) parents’ perceptions of children’s difficulties contributed more to parents’ emotion regulation capacity and as much to parents’ stress as ASD diagnosis; moreover, children’s alexithymia also contributed more to parents’ frequency of interaction with their children than ASD diagnosis; and (e) parents’ frequency of interaction with their children contributed to more positive and negative emotional expressions and to the use of better emotion regulation strategies in children. The present findings highlight the complexity of emotional difficulties in children with ASD by suggesting that difficulties in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation are reflected at the subjective, observational, and physiological levels. Furthermore, these difficulties are influenced by different factors: children’s ASD characteristics, children’s other characteristics such as alexithymia, and parents’ characteristics. Given the relevance of emotional difficulties to internalizing and externalizing problems in children with ASD it is important that interventions include a multicomponent approach to emotional difficulties in ASD. Furthermore, interventions would benefit from integrating children’s alexithymia and parents’ characteristics such as their difficulties with emotion regulation and stress to help alleviate emotional difficulties in children with ASD. Finally, parents’ trainings on learning strategies to deal with their children’s emotional reactivity might prove beneficial both for parents and for children. [less ▲]

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See detailCoping with cyberbullying in adolescent population
Steffgen, Georges UL; Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Slee, Phillip

Scientific Conference (2015, May 22)

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See detailCoping with Bullying questionnaire: Validation of the German adaptation
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Skrzypiec, Grace

Poster (2015, May 21)

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See detailContributors to undergraduates' perception of skill acquisition across time
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Journal of Education and Training Studies (2015), 3(5), 26-34

The present study examined the relation between the amount of years of study and the perception of skill acquisition through indicators of students’ satisfaction with the course program. It was ... [more ▼]

The present study examined the relation between the amount of years of study and the perception of skill acquisition through indicators of students’ satisfaction with the course program. It was hypothesized that the more years students spend at the university, the higher their perception of skill acquisition and that factors related to the course program moderate this relationship. Participants were 314 undergraduate students in psychology who completed the Bachelor Evaluation Questionnaire, which assessed the perceived quality of the course program. Factor analysis revealed that the questionnaire assessed five different factors: Teachers and teaching, Course climate, Learning promotion, Course requirements, and Skill acquisition. A sub-sample of 117 students, who evaluated the course on their first and again on their fifth semester, was used to examine the change on perception of skill acquisition and the influence of course related factors on that change. It was found that students’ perception of skill acquisition increased from first to fifth semester and that this increase was moderated by students’ perception of learning promotion. Those with early low perception of learning promotion were at greater disadvantage of increasing perceived skill acquisition during their studies. Those with early high learning promotion but with early low perception of skill acquisition at the beginning, reached similar levels of perceived skill acquisition by the end of their studies as those with early high perception of skill acquisition. The implications of these findings for theory and practice in relation to academic achievement are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailEmotion Regulation and Anger Expression in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

Scientific Conference (2014, November)

Emotion regulation (ER) is an important aspect of children’s emotional and social development. It maximizes learning and allows the development of trusting relationships. ER is particularly relevant for ... [more ▼]

Emotion regulation (ER) is an important aspect of children’s emotional and social development. It maximizes learning and allows the development of trusting relationships. ER is particularly relevant for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with ASD have frequent behavioural disturbances that are believed to derive from low ER capacities. The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between ER and anger expression in children with ASD compared to typically developing (TD) children. Participants were 29 children aged from 5 to 12 years old. 8 children were diagnosed with ASD accompanied by intellectual and language impairments, 9 children were diagnosed with ASD without intellectual or language impairments, and 12 were TD children. ER was assessed by parents’ reports of their child’s ER and anger expression by the observation of children during a frustration-eliciting situation. Analyses of variance revealed that children with ASD were evaluated by their parents as having lower ER than TD children and, that children with ASD demonstrated more anger-related behaviours than TD children. However, no differences were found between the two groups of children with ASD for ER or anger expression. This shows that intellectual or language impairments in ASD are not key-factors on how parents perceive their children’s ER or on how they express anger. Moreover, a negative correlation was found between ER and expressed anger. These results stress the necessity of developing interventions for teaching adequate ER strategies to children with ASD. [less ▲]

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