Day 57 of 99 Days to FASDay: FASD and Affect Regulation


From the CanFASD Blog:

Along with experiencing mental health issues, regulating one’s emotions, known as affect regulation (AR), is a common challenge for individuals with FASD.

The Canadian FASD diagnostic guidelines were updated in 2016 to include a domain for AR, which is impaired when the individual meets diagnostic criteria for depressive disorder(s) or anxiety disorder(s).

Using data from the National Database, the authors of the current study examined impairments in AR among children and adults with FASD and how these impairments were related to comorbid mental health disorders.


  • Out of 335 participants, 41% had impaired affect regulation (AR)
  • There was no significant difference in IQ between individuals with affect regulation impairment and without
  • Individuals with AR impairment were about 19.1 years old when diagnosed with FASD, while those without AR impairment were roughly 12.5 years old at the time of diagnosis
  • Those with AR impairment were noted as having generally higher neurodevelopmental impairment, with roughly 5.37 more domains of neurodevelopmental impairment, as assessed by the Canadian diagnostic criteria
  • AR impairment meant that individuals were more likely to be diagnosed with attachment disorder, conduct disorder, PTSD, or had experienced suicidal thoughts


Because individuals with FASD are at a particularly high risk of developing additional adverse outcomes, such as mental health disorders, if AR impairments can be detected early, there is an opportunity for proper intervention to prevent attachment disorders, PTSD, suicidality, and other mental health disorders.

For more information check out: Affect Regulation and FASD

Check back tomorrow for Day 58.