Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1101–1114 | Cite as

Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Young People with Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Relative Prevalence, Effects of Subject Characteristics, and Empirical Classification

  • Luc LecavalierEmail author
Original Paper


Parents or teachers rated 487 non-clinically referred young people with Pervasive Developmental Disorders on the Nisonger Child Behavior Rating Form. The objectives of the study were to examine the relative prevalence of specific behavior problems, assess the impact of subject characteristics, and derive an empirical classification of behavioral and emotional problems for this population. Results indicated that the youngsters experienced high rates of behavior and emotional problems. Cluster analysis suggested that six- and eight-cluster solutions best fit the ratings provided by parents and teachers, respectively. Both parent and teacher cluster solutions contained groups of children characterized as problem free, well adapted, hyperactive, anxious, and with undifferentiated behavior disturbances. The empirically derived clusters were supported by data external to the analyses.


Autism Pervasive developmental disorder Behavior problems Prevalence Cluster analysis Nisonger child behavior rating form 



This research was supported in part by funding from the Ohio Department of Education. The author wishes to thank all the project coordinators, teachers, and parents for their cooperation. He is especially grateful to Shiling Ruan and Tom Bishop for their assistance with statistical analyses and to Michael G. Aman for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nisonger CenterOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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