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Asperger Syndrome

  1. Scott J. Hunter,
  2. Valerie Malzer

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0082

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Hunter, S. J. and Malzer, V. 2010. Asperger Syndrome. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. University of Chicago

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Asperger syndrome (AS; also identified as Asperger's disorder) is a pervasive developmental disorder thought to be closely related to autism. Although first conceptualized in 1944 by Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, one year after the independent description of autism by Leo Kanner, AS did not gain wide recognition diagnostically until the early 1980s (Wing, 1981). It has since come to be accepted as a specific neurodevelopmental disorder in its own right within the psychiatric, psychological, and developmental fields (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). AS is generally conceptualized as one endpoint along the autism disorder spectrum; however, there remains significant debate about where AS falls along the continuum of autism spectrum disorders, and more specifically about its relationship to high-functioning autism (HFA), with which it is often compared and contrasted (Ghaziuddin, 2008).


  • autism spectrum disorder;
  • comorbidity;
  • focused interests;
  • pragmatic language