Psychiatric Symptom Endorsements in Children and Adolescents Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparison to Typically Developing Children and Adolescents

  • Julie A. Hess
  • Johnny L. MatsonEmail author
  • Dennis R. Dixon
Original Article


Children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) frequently exhibit symptoms that are not associated with the core features of ASD. These symptoms may meet criteria for an additional diagnosis; however, accurate assessment of comorbid psychiatric conditions in ASD has been hindered by a lack of measures designed for this specific purpose. The newly constructed assessment measure, Autism Spectrum Disorders-Comorbid for Children (ASD-CC) has been developed specifically for examining comorbid psychiatric disorders in ASD. Therefore, this study set out to assess differences in the endorsement rates of psychiatric symptoms in children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD compared to their same aged typically developing peers, utilizing the ASD-CC. Results of the analyses revealed significant differences between children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD compared to those without ASD. The subscales (i.e., of the ASD-CC) worry/depressed, under-eating, over-eating, avoidant behavior, and repetitive behavior all contributed to the significant difference between groups. The implications of the significant and non-significant results as well as directions for future research are discussed.


Autism Comorbidity ASD-CC Children Adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie A. Hess
    • 1
  • Johnny L. Matson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dennis R. Dixon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Autism and Related Disorders, IncTarzanaUSA

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