Gender Differences in Core Symptomatology in Autism Spectrum Disorders across the Lifespan

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-011-9235-3

Cite this article as:
Rivet, T.T. & Matson, J.L. J Dev Phys Disabil (2011) 23: 399. doi:10.1007/s10882-011-9235-3

Abstract

Although gender disparity in ASD has been long documented, research addressing gender related to core ASD symptomatology (e.g., domains, severity, breadth, etc.) is scant. The present research examined gender differences in ASD symptomatology in three populations: infants and toddlers at risk for developmental disability, children and adolescents, and adults with intellectual disability (ID). No significant gender differences in ASD symptoms were found in the infant/toddler or child/adolescent populations. In the adult population, in participants with ID alone, females had higher endorsements of social (i.e., participation in social games, sports, and activities; interest in other’s side of the conversation; and imitation) and communication (i.e., interest in other’s side of the conversation and reading body language) impairments compared to males. This study has considerable implications in both the clinical and research realms as for diagnostic and assessment validity and prioritized treatment needs for females with ASD, as well as stimulating a future research agenda (i.e., considerations such as cognitive ability, comorbidity, course and age, qualitative symptom differences, social/environmental gender biases) in this area.

Keywords

Autism spectrum symptoms Gender differences Intellectual disability Lifespan 

Abbreviation

ANCOVA

Analysis of Covariance

ANOVA

Analysis of Variance

ADI-R

Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised

ADOS-G

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Generic

AQ

Autism Quotient

ASD-DA

Autism Spectrum Disorders – Diagnostic – Adult Version

ASD-DC

Autism Spectrum Disorders – Diagnostic – Child Version

ASD

Autism Spectrum Disorders

BISCUIT

Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtism Traits

BDI-2

Battelle Developmental Inventory-Second Edition

CBCL

Child Behavior Checklist

CARS

Childhood Autism Rating Scale

CDD

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

DQ

Developmental Quotient on the BDI-2

DSM-IV TR

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition, Text Revision

DASH-II

Diagnostic Assessment for the Severely Handicapped-II

ITSEA

Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment

ID

Intellectual Disability

IQ

Intelligence Quotient

ICD-10

International Classification of Diseases Tenth Edition

MESSIER

Matson Evaluation of Social Skills for Individuals with sEvere Retardation

M-CHAT

Modified CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers

MANOVA

Multivariate Analysis of Variance

PDDNOS

Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Q-CHAT

Quantitative CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers

VABS

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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