Predicting Self-Injurious Behavior at Age Three Among Infant Siblings of Children with Autism


Existing research suggests that self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a relatively common interfering behavior that can occur across the lifespan of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We previously reported that SIB or proto-injurious SIB at 12 months was related to increased risk of SIB at 24 months among a preschool sample of children with a high familial likelihood for ASD (Dimian et al., 2017). In the present study, we extend these findings, examine SIB occurrence, and associated potential risk factors at 36 months. The present sample included 149 infants with an older sibling with ASD (65.8% male) who completed assessments at ages 12, 24, and 36 months. Descriptive analyses and binary logistic regression models were utilized. SIB was more prevalent among those children who received a diagnosis of ASD. Logistic regression indicated that presence of SIB, stereotypy, hyper- and hypo-sensory responsivity, and lower intellectual functioning at age 12 months significantly predicted the occurrence of SIB at 36 months. These findings have implications for understanding developmental processes culminating in persistent SIB and may inform prevention programming.

Suggested Citation

Dimian, A. F., Estes, A. M., Dager, S., Piven, J., & Wolff, J. J. (2023). Predicting self‐injurious behavior at age three among infant siblings of children with autism. Autism Research.


Peer-Reviewed Article 
International Society for Autism Research


  • Community life
    • Parenting and family relationships
  • Specific life stage
    • Early childhood
  • Specific disability
    • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)