Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 851–859 | Cite as

Emotional and Behavioural Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Morag Maskey
  • Frances Warnell
  • Jeremy R. Parr
  • Ann Le Couteur
  • Helen McConachieEmail author


The type, frequency and inter-relationships of emotional and behavioural problems in 863 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were investigated using the population-based Database of children with ASD living in the North East of England (Daslne). A high rate of problems was reported, with 53 % of children having 4 or more types of problems frequently. Sleep, toileting and eating problems, hyperactivity, self injury and sensory difficulties were greater in children with lower language level and in special schooling. However, anxiety, tantrums and aggression towards others were frequent regardless of age, ability or schooling. The frequency of co-existing conditions, including such emotional and behavioural problems, in children with ASD has implications for designing appropriate support services for children and families.


Language level Emotional and behavioural problems Anxiety Sleep 



We are grateful for funding and other support for the Daslne database to the Northern Rock Foundation and the Children’s Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morag Maskey
    • 1
  • Frances Warnell
    • 2
  • Jeremy R. Parr
    • 2
  • Ann Le Couteur
    • 1
  • Helen McConachie
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Health and SocietyNewcastle University, Sir James Spence InstituteNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Institute of NeuroscienceNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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