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Age Differences in Expression of Generalized and Social Anxiety Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • R. Enrique VarelaEmail author
  • Randolph DuPont
  • Jodi L. Kamps
  • Carl F. Weems
  • Laura Niditch
  • Elliott A. Beaton
  • Gabriella Pucci
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined differences in generalized and social anxiety symptoms across two age groups of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while accounting for overall anxiety level, gender, and intellectual functioning. Older children (12–18 years) expressed more overall and social anxiety symptoms than younger children (6–11 years), and social anxiety symptoms were predominant in the older group. Younger children expressed more generalized anxiety symptoms than the older youth, and there was a trend for generalized anxiety symptoms to be more dominant in the younger group. Findings are consistent with theory of differential expression of specific anxiety symptoms across different ages seen with typically developing children, yet social evaluative concerns may be even stronger for adolescents with ASD.

Keywords

ASD Anxiety Development Social anxiety Generalized anxiety 

Notes

Author Contributions

REV conceived of the study, participated in its design, performed statistical analysis, interpretation of the data, and wrote first draft of the manuscript. CFW, LN, & EAB participated in the design of the study, commented on first draft of the manuscript, and assisted with statistical analysis. RD, JLK, & GP participated in the design of the study and in data preparation and analyses. All authors read and approved and the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. University of first author and hospital of third author provided IRB approval for the study.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was not required per 45 CFR 46.101.d exemption 4, use of de-identified archival data.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Enrique Varela
    • 1
    Email author
  • Randolph DuPont
    • 1
  • Jodi L. Kamps
    • 2
  • Carl F. Weems
    • 3
  • Laura Niditch
    • 4
  • Elliott A. Beaton
    • 5
  • Gabriella Pucci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesLoyola University New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Children’s Hospital New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Human Development and Family StudiesIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA

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