The executive function account of repetitive behavior: Evidence from Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome

Jane Waite, Sarah R. Beck, Laurie Powis, Chris Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we focus on Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) to explore the associations between executive function deficits and repetitive behaviors. Thirty individuals with RTS completed direct assessments of inhibition, working memory and set-shifting. Informants completed repetitive behavior and executive function questionnaires. Repetitive questions were associated with poorer inhibition and working memory. Stereotypy was associated with poorer inhibition. Adherence to routines was associated with poorer set-shifting, but only on the parental report measure. No other associations were evident. There is evidence of an association between specific repetitive behaviors and executive functioning in RTS, suggesting executive dysfunction may underpin behavioral difference in RTS. The findings point towards specific associations that are of interest for further research across populations in which repetitive behaviors are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-65
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

This article is protected by copyright. This is an accepted manuscript of an article published in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The published version is available at:


  • executive function
  • genetic syndromes
  • repetitive behavior
  • repetitive questioning
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome


Dive into the research topics of 'The executive function account of repetitive behavior: Evidence from Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this