Research & Funding Sources

The Family Experiences Lab conducts research focused on autism, fragile X syndrome, and the fragile X premutation. Our research findings are published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and presented at local and international conferences each year.

Research.

2017

Lee, M., Bush, L., Martin, G., Barstein, J., Heckel, N., Klusek, J., & Losh, M. (2017). A multi-method investigation of pragmatic development in Down syndrome. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 122, 289-309.

Klusek, J., LaFauci, G., Adayev, T., Brown, W. T., Tassone, F., & Roberts, J. E. (2017). Reduced vagal tone in women with the FMR1 premutation is associated with FMR1 mRNA but not depression or anxiety. Journal of Neurodevelopment Disorders, 9, 1-16.

Losh, M., Martin, G. E., Lee, M., Klusek, J., Sideris, J., Wassink, T. (2017). Developmental markers of autism genetic risk in parents: A longitudinal, multigenerational study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 834-845.

2016

Klusek, J., McGrath, S. E., Abbeduto, L. E., & Roberts, J. E. (2016). Pragmatic language features of mothers with the FMR1 premutation are associated with the language outcomes of adolescents and young adults with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59, 49-61.

2015

Brazendale, A., Adlof, S., Klusek, J., Roberts, J. E. (2015). Teaching reading to youth with fragile X syndrome: Should phonemic awareness and phonics instruction be used? Evidence Based Practice Briefs, 9, 47-61.

Klusek, J., Roberts, J. E., & Losh, M. (2015). Cardiac autonomic regulation in autism and fragile X syndrome: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 141, 141-175.

Klusek, J., Hunt, A. W., Mirrett, P. L., Hatton, D. D., Hooper, S. R., Roberts, J. E., & Bailey, D. B., Jr. (2015). Reading and phonological skills in boys with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 1699-1711.

Adlof, S., Klusek, J., Shinkareva, S., Mounts, M., Hatton, D., & Roberts, J. E. (2015). Phonological awareness and reading in boys with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 56, 30-39.

2014

Klusek, J., Martin, G. E., & Losh, M. (2014). A comparison of pragmatic language in boys with autism and fragile X syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 57, 1692-1707.

Klusek, J., Martin, G. E., & Losh, M. (2014). Consistency between research and clinical diagnoses of autism among boys and girls with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities Research, 58, 940-952

Klusek, J. & Losh, M., & Martin, G. (2014). Sex differences and within-family associations in the broad autism phenotype. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 18, 106-116.

2013

Klusek, J., Martin, G. E., & Losh, M. (2013). Physiological arousal in autism and fragile X syndrome: Group comparisons and links with pragmatic language. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 118, 475-495.

2012

Losh, M., Martin, G.E., Klusek, J., Hogan-Brown, A., & Sideris, J. (2012). Social communication and theory of mind in boys with autism and fragile X syndrome. Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental Psychology, 3, 1-12.

Losh, M., Klusek, J., Martin, G.E., Sideris, J., Parlier, M., & Piven, J. (2012). Defining genetically meaningful language and personality traits in relatives of individuals with fragile X syndrome and autism. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 159B, 660-668.

Losh, M., Martin, G.E., Klusek, J., & Hogan-Brown, A. (2012). Pragmatic language in autism and fragile X syndrome: Genetic and clinical applications. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 19, 48-55.

2009

Martin, G. E., Klusek, J., Estigarribia, B., & Roberts, J. E. (2009). Language characteristics of individuals with Down syndrome. Topics in Language Disorders, 29, 107-127.

Presentations.

*underline denotes mentored student research

2017

Klusek, J. & Roberts, J. E. (2017, May). Cardiac autonomic function predicts pragmatic language features of the broad autism phenotype in mothers of children with ASD. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, CA.

Matherly, S. M., Klusek, J., Roberts, J., & Abbeduto, L. (2017, May). Impact of anxiety and autism symptomatology on pragmatic language in young adult males with fragile X syndrome. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, CA.

Losh, M., Martin, G. E., Lee, M., Klusek, J., Sideris, J., Wassink, T., & Barron, S. (2017, May). Developmental markers of genetic liability to autism in parents: A longitudinal, multigenerational study. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, CA.

Moser, C., Roberts, J.E., & Klusek, J. (2017, March). The role of autonomic function in predicting parenting stress and social support in mothers with the FMR1 premutation. Poster presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research & Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disorders, San Antonio, TX.

Klusek, J. & Roberts, J. E. (2017, March). Autonomic dysfunction is associated with pragmatic language impairments in women with the FMR1 premutation and the broad autism phenotype. In J. Klusek (Chair), The FMR1 premutation: Biomarkers and discriminating phenotypes. Symposium abstract presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research & Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disorders, San Antonio, TX.

2016

Klusek, J., Martin, G. E., & Losh M. (2016, November). Language & communication in fragile X syndrome and the fragile X premutation. Abstract presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Martin, G. E., Bush, L., Klusek, J., & Losh, M. (2016, July). A multi-method approach to characterizing conversational skills in boys and girls with fragile X syndrome with and without autism spectrum disorder. Poster accepted for presentation at the International Fragile X Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Klusek, J., Schmidt, J., Porter, A., & Roberts, J.E. (2016, May). Cardiac vagal tone predicts eye gaze fixation in the broad autism phenotype. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Baltimore, MD.

Rague, L., Caravella, K. E., Klusek, J., & Roberts, J. E. (2016, May). Gesture development from 9 to 24 months in infants with Fragile X Syndrome, Infant Siblings of Children with Autism and Typically Developing Infants. Presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Baltimore, MD.

Rague, L., Caravella, K. E., Klusek, J., & Roberts, J. E. (2016, March). Early gesture use in 12 month old infants with fragile X syndrome, infant siblings of children with autism and typically developing infants. Presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Intellectual and D, San Diego, CA.

2015

Klusek, J., Hughes, R., Butler, C., & Roberts, J. E. (2015, November). Gesture use in one-year-old infants with fragile X syndrome and typical development. Poster presented at the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association Convention, Denver, CO.

Klusek, J., Schmidt, J., Porter, A., & Roberts, J. E. (2015, September) Pragmatic language ability in the FMR1 premutation is associated with autonomic reactivity and viewing patterns during gaze processing. Poster presented at the 2nd International Conference on the FMR1 Premutation: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Involvement, Barcelona, Spain.

Losh, M., Lee, M., Klusek, J., Martin, G., & Berry-Kravis, E. (2015, September). Executive functioning and social cognition among FMR1 premutation carriers: Links to autism endophenotypes. Abstract presented at the 2nd International Conference on the FMR1 Premutation: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Involvement, Barcelona, Spain.Schworer, E., Klusek, J., Hahn, L. J., Schmidt, J., & Roberts, J. E. (2015, March). Anxiety and eye gaze in males with fragile X. Poster presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research in Developmental Disabilities, New Orleans, LA. 2014 Martin, G. E., Klusek, J., Sideris, J., & Losh, M. L. (2014, November). Conversational discourse skills in children with fragile X syndrome: Sex differences and overlap with autism. Abstract presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Miami, FL.

Klusek, J., & Roberts, J. E. (2014, September). Cortisol as a biomarker for psychological vulnerability in women with the FMR1 premutation. Poster presented at the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Atlanta, GA.

Klusek, J., Martin, G. E., Losh, M. (2014, July). Physiological arousal and social-communication skills in boys with fragile X syndrome and autism. In J. E. Roberts (Chair), Arousal, anxiety, and attention in fragile X across the lifespan. Symposium abstract presented at the International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.

Stiehl, C., Martin, G. E., Klusek, J., Hogan-Brown A. L., Sideris, J., Losh, M. (2014, July). Sex differences in pragmatic language and theory of mind in fragile X syndrome. Abstract presented at the International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.

Losh, M., Klusek, J., Lee, M., Hogan-Brown, A., & Martin, G. (2014, May). Pragmatic language in autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome, and Down syndrome: Cross-population comparisons and genetic and social-cognitive correlates. In L. Abbeduto (Chair), Atypical communicative profiles in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Symposium abstract presented at the Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, San Francisco, CA.

Reisinger, D., Klusek, J., Scherr, J., & Roberts, J. E. (2014, May). Association of social skill deficits and autism symptomology in boys with fragile X syndrome. Abstract presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Atlanta, GA.

McGrath, M., Klusek, J., Schwower, E., Guenther, J., Abbeduto, L., & Roberts, J. E. (2014, May). Cortisol stress response patterns and social behaviors in adolescent boys with fragile X syndrome and autism. Abstract presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Atlanta, GA.

Klusek, J. & Roberts, J. E. (2014, March). Anxiety as a predictor of pragmatic language difficulties in women with the FMR1 premutation. In J. E. Roberts (Chair), The co-occurrence of anxiety in fragile X and idiopathic autism: A behavioral and biomarker approach to assessment and treatment across the lifespan. Symposium abstract presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research in Developmental Disabilities, Chicago, IL.

2013

Klusek, J., Losh, M., & Martin, G. E. (2013, March). Physiological arousal in autism and fragile X syndrome. Poster presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual Developmental Disabilities, San Antonio, TX.

2012

Klusek, J., Losh, M., & Martin, G. E. (2012, November). Pragmatic language in autism, fragile X syndrome, and Down syndrome. Abstract presented at the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Klusek, J., Losh, M., & Martin, G. E. (2012, July) Agreement of clinical and research diagnoses of autism among boys and girls with fragile X syndrome. Abstract presented at the International Fragile X Conference, Miami, FL.

Klusek, J., Losh, M., & Martin, G. E. (2012, April). Gender differences in pragmatic language features associated with the broad autism phenotype among parents of children with autism. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Toronto, Canada.

2011

Klusek, J., Losh, M., & Martin, G. E. (2011, May). Expressive language profiles of children with idiopathic autism and fragile X syndrome. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San Diego CA.

2010

Martin, G. E., Losh, M., & Klusek, J. (2010, November). Pragmatic language in boys with fragile X syndrome and autism. Abstract presented at the American Speech and Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Klusek, J. & Losh, M. (2010, July). Verbal fluency in relatives of individuals with fragile X and autism: Exploring gene-behavior relationships. Poster presented at the International Fragile X Conference, Detroit, MI.

Martin, G. E., Losh, M., Klusek, J., Harris, A., Hopp, C, & Sideris, J. (2010, July). Social language in boys with fragile X syndrome and boys with autism. Abstract presented at the Annual International Fragile X Conference, Detroit, MI.

Losh, M., Martin, G. E., Klusek, J. & Dillon, E., Hopp, C., Harris, A., et al. (2010, July). Personality, language, and neuropsychological features in relatives of individuals with FXS and relatives of individuals with autism. Abstract presented at the International Fragile X Conference, Detroit, MI.

Klusek, J. & Losh, M. (2010, April). The role of FMR1 in the language profile associated with the broad autism phenotype. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia PA.

Losh, M., Martin, G. E., & Klusek, J. (2010, April). Clinical and neuropsychological overlap in the broad autism phenotype and the FMR1 premutation. Abstract presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia, PA.

Martin, G. E., Losh, M., Klusek, J., & Harris, A. (2010, April). Pragmatic language and social cognitive overlap in children with autism and fragile X syndrome. Abstract presented to the International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia, PA.

2009

Klusek, J. & Losh, M. (2009, May). The role of FMR1 in pragmatic language impairment in autism and the broad autism phenotype. Abstract presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Chicago, IL.

 

Research Support.

7/1/17 – 9/30/18

A longitudinal study of maternal mental health outcomes in fragile X syndrome: Biological sensitivity to context and the potential buffering effect of vagal tone (PI: Klusek)

USC Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence (ASPIRE) – I Award

7/1/16 – 9/30/17

Biomarkers for Cognitive-Linguistic Impairments in Women with the FMR1 Premutation

USC Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence (ASPIRE) – II B Award (PI: Klusek)

1/24/14 – 8/15/16

NIDCD F32 DC013934 Profiles and Predictors of Pragmatic Language Impairments in the FMR1 Premutation (PI: Klusek)

 

Current Mentored Student Awards

6/1/2017 – 6/30/2018

Heart Activity and Anti-saccade Performance in Women with the FMR1 Premutation (PI: Lateef, Faculty Mentor: Klusek)

USC Honors College Exploration Scholars Award

5/1/17 – 12/8/17

Premature Language Decline in Women with the FMR1 Premutation (PI: Ahrens, Faculty Mentor: Klusek)

USC Magellan Scholar Award

1/1/17 – 7/31/17

Eye Contact and Sympathetic Arousal in Women with the FMR1 Premutation (PI: Ruber, Faculty Mentor: Klusek)

USC Magellan Scholar Award