Child Behavior Checklist Scores for School-Aged Children with Autism: Preliminary Evidence of Patterns Suggesting the Need for Referral
- 667 Downloads
The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is a widely used questionnaire to assess behavioral and emotional problems. It is often used as a diagnostic screener, but autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are not included in the CBCL for school-aged children. This study investigated patterns of CBCL scores in 108 children with high-functioning ASD from two independent samples, and 67 IQ- and age-matched controls. Scores on the CBCL Thought and Social Problems scales significantly differentiated children with ASD from controls. Both independent ASD samples had the same pattern of elevations, with mean scores over two standard deviations above the mean for Social, Thought, and Attention Problems. The Withdrawn/Depressed scale was elevated to at least the borderline clinical range for half of the ASD sample. This pattern of elevations is consistent with two prior studies of the CBCL with school-aged children with ASD, and therefore may warrant follow-up assessment to rule out an ASD.
KeywordsChild behavior checklist Autism Asperger’s disorder Diagnostic screening
The authors are grateful to the participants and their families for their commitment to this research. This manuscript was supported in part by NINDS NS33355 (PI Minshew) and NICHD U19HD35469 (PI Minshew), which is part of the NICHD/NIDCD Collaborative Programs for Excellence in Autism (CPEA).
- Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for child behavior checklist/ 4–18 and 1991 profile. Burlington: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
- Achenbach, T. M. (2009a). ASEBA® Web-Link™ ASEBA Overview. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.aseba.org/ABOUTUS/aseba_overview.html.
- Achenbach, T. M. (2009b). ASEBA® Web-Link™ ASEBA Research Updates from Around the World. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.aseba.org/research/research.html.
- Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2000). Manual for the ASEBA preschool forms & profiles: an integrated system of multi-informant assessment. Burlington: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth & Families.Google Scholar
- Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles: an integrated system of mult-informant assessment. Burlington: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth & Families.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Bolte, S., Dickhut, H., & Poustka, F. (1999). The child behavior checklist (CBCL) in autistic subjects. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 8, 70.Google Scholar
- Conners, C. K. (1973). Rating scales for use in drug studies with children. Psychopharmacology Bulletin (Special Issue: Pharmacotherapy of children), 9, 24–84.Google Scholar
- Constantino, J. N., & Gruber, C. P. (2005). Social responsiveness scale. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Frazier, J. A., Biederman, J., Bellorde, C. A., Garfield, S. B., Geller, D. A., Coffey, B. J., et al. (2001). Should the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder be considered in children with pervasive developmental disorder? Journal of Attention Disorders, 4, 203–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grodberg, D. M., & Kolevzon, A. (2009). ADHD symptoms in autism spectrum disorder. Primary Psychiatry, 16, 35.Google Scholar
- Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H., Leventhal, B. L., et al. (2000). The autism diagnostic observation schedule-generic: a standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 205–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mazefsky, C. A. (2009). Psychiatric comorbidity in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s disorder. Invited presentation at the Organization for Autism Research Organization for Autism Research 7th Annual Autism Research and Intervention Conference, Arlington, VA. October.Google Scholar
- McGough, J. J., Loo, S. K., McCracken, J. T., Dang, J., Clark, S., Nelson, S. F., et al. (2008). CBCL pediatric bipolar disorder profile and ADHD: comorbidity and quantitative trait loci analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 1151–1157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Minshew, N. J. (1996). Autism. In B. O. Berg (Ed.), Principles of child neurology (pp. 1713–1730). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Quay, H. C. (1983). A dimensional approach to behavior disorder: the revised behavior problem checklist. School Psychology Review, 12, 244–249.Google Scholar
- Volkmar, F. R., & Klin, A. (1996). Yale special interests survey. Unpublished questionnaire, Yale University.Google Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (1991). Manual for the Wechsler intelligence scale for children (3rd ed.). San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar