, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 168-179

How unspecified are disorders of children with a pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified? A study of social problems in children with PDD-NOS and ADHD

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Abstract

 This study examines possible differences and similarities between social behaviour problems in children with problems classified as pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and a group of children with problems classified as ADHD, as measured by parent questionnaires. The instruments involved were the CBCL (Child Behaviour Checklist), the ABC (Autism Behaviour Checklist) and a new instrument: the CSBQ (Children's Social Behaviour Questionnaire). In comparing the PDD-NOS group and the ADHD group, the results show that, according to parent reports, both groups have severe problems in executing appropriate social behaviour, but the PDD-NOS group can be distinguished from the ADHD group by the nature and the extent of these problems. The PDD-NOS group had significantly more social problems (as measured by the CBCL Social scale), withdrawn problems (as measured by the CBCL Withdrawn scale) and PDD-specific problems (as measured on the ABC Relating scale, the ABC Language scale, the CSBQ total score, the CSBQ Social Interaction scale and CBSQ Communication scale). In addition, although the descriptions of the social problems are global, i.e. on scale level, the results also show that the social problems of PDD-NOS children can be positively formulated and described as at least including severe social interaction problems, withdrawn behaviours and communication problems.

Accepted: 13 January 2000