, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 579-591

Sex differences in pervasive developmental disorders

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Assessed differences in sex ratio, severity of associated mental retardation, and various metrics of severity of autism in autistic, PDD-NOS, and developmentally disordered (non-PDD) cases. Males with autism were more frequent than females, particular at higher IQ levels. The three clinical groups differed, in expected ways, in the various measures of severity of autism with the PDD-NOS cases being intermediate between the strictly diagnosed autistic group and the non-PDD developmental disordered group. Sex differences were primarily confined to IQ; sex differences in other metrics of severity of autism were not prominent. Implications for future research are discussed.

This study was supported by grant HD-03008 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, by NIMH grants MH-30929 to the Mental Health Clinical Research Center and MH-46961 to F. R. Volkmar. A previous version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, San Francisco, October, 1991.