Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 302–310 | Cite as

Comparing Autism, PDD-NOS, and Other Developmental Disabilities on Parent-Reported Behavior Problems: Little Evidence for ASD Subtype Validity

  • Anne V. Snow
  • Luc LecavalierEmail author
Original Paper


Studies on the distinction between Autistic Disorder (AD) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) have been inconclusive. This study examined the validity of PDD-NOS by comparing it to AD and other developmental disorders (DD) on parent-reported behavior problems. Fifty-four children with PDD-NOS were individually matched on age and non-verbal IQ to 54 children with AD and 54 children with DD. Groups were compared on select subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist. High rates of psychopathology were observed in both ASD groups. The only difference between PDD-NOS and AD groups was higher scores in the PDD-NOS group on two items measuring Anxiety/Depression. Cognitive functioning may be a more salient variable than subtype when studying psychopathology in individuals with ASDs.


Autism PDD-NOS Subtypes Classification Validity Behavior problems 



At the time of this study, Anne V. Snow and Luc Lecavalier were at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Anne V. Snow is now at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, supported by a NIDRR training grant (H133P050001). We would like to thank the families who participated in this study. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Chas Albright, who assisted in the data collection for this project. An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in May 2009.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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