Psychiatric Symptoms and Psychosocial Difficulties in Young Adults with Autistic Traits

  • Stephen M. Kanne
  • Shawn E. Christ
  • Angela M. Reiersen
Original Paper


A screening version of the social responsiveness scale (SRS) was administered to 1,847 university students to identify a subgroup reporting significantly greater autism traits relative to their peers (High SRS group). A group reporting minimal autism traits was also identified (Low SRS group) matched for age, gender, and attentional difficulties. We administered the Behavioral Assessment System for Children—2nd edition (BASC-2), a comprehensive questionnaire designed to assess psychiatric symptoms and personality characteristics, to both groups. The high SRS group reported significantly more difficulties across the majority of areas, including depression/anxiety, interpersonal relationships, and personal adjustment. Thus, young adults reporting a greater degree of autistic traits also reported greater psychiatric difficulties across a wide psychosocial range.


Autism Pervasive developmental disorder SRS BASC-2 Psychiatric symptoms 



This research was supported by grants from the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders (SC & SK) and MU Research Board (SC). The authors would like to thank Lauren Kruczyk, Kimberly Pope, Mary Middleton, Angela Sloop, and Brittany Waller for their assistance with data collection


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen M. Kanne
    • 1
  • Shawn E. Christ
    • 2
  • Angela M. Reiersen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health Psychology and Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental DisordersUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Child PsychiatryWashington University School of MedicineSt LouisUSA

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