Advertisement

The Moderating Effect of Autism Symptomatology on Anxiety Symptoms

  • Robert D. RieskeEmail author
  • Johnny L. Matson
  • Thompson E. DavisIII
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Anxiety disorders are prevalent in the general population and the prevalence of anxiety disorders for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is even higher. Researchers have shown how cognitive and adaptive functioning are related and affect anxiety symptoms in children as well as the high comorbidity with ASD. The aim of this study was to confirm those relationships and to examine the moderating effect of autism symptomatology in infants and toddlers. A sample of 2,366 infants and toddlers between the ages of 17 and 36 months of age was examined using a hierarchical moderation analysis. Post-hoc analyses were then completed to determine the source of any interaction. The relationship between autism symptomatology and anxiety was confirmed as was the relationship between Cognitive Developmental Quotient (DQ) and anxiety; adaptive DQ was found to be positively correlated with anxiety. The moderating effect of autism symptomatology between DQs individually and anxiety was statistically significant but with a small effect size. Autism symptomatology also moderated the relationship between Cognitive and Adaptive DQ with anxiety but with a negligible effect size.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Anxiety Infants Children Moderation 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.—text revision). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berls, A. T., & McEwan, I. R. (1999). Battelle Developmental Inventory. Physical Therapy, 79, 776–783.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Brereton, A. V., Tonge, B. J., & Einfeld, S. L. (2006). Psychopathology in children and adolescents with autism compared to young people with intellectual disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 863–870.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carraro, A., & Gobbi, E. (2012). Effects of an exercise programme on anxiety in adults with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1221–1226.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61, 1–19.Google Scholar
  7. Chakrabarti, S. (2009). Early identification of autism. Indian Pediatrics, 46, 412–414.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Charman, T., & Baird, G. (2002). Practitioner review: diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in 2- and 3-year-old children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 43, 289.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, T. E., III, Ollendick, T. H., & Nebel-Schwalm, M. (2008). Intellectual ability and achievement in anxiety-disordered children: a clarification and extension of the literature. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 30, 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis, T. E., III, Fodstad, J. C., Jenkins, W. S., Hess, J. A., Moree, B. N., Dempsey, T., & Matson, J. L. (2010). Anxiety and avoidance in infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: evidence for differing symptom severity and presentation. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 305–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Davis, T. E., III, Hess, J. A., Matthews, R. A., Fodstad, J. C., Dempsey, T., Jenkins, W. S., & Matson, J. L. (2011a). The moderating effect of anxiety on development in atypically developing toddlers. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 33, 171–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis, T. E., III, Hess, J. A., Moree, B. N., Fodstad, J. C., Dempsey, T., Jenkins, W. S., & Matson, J. L. (2011b). Anxiety symptoms across the lifespan in people diagnosed with Autistic Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 112–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis, T. E., III, Moree, B. N., Dempsey, T., Hess, J. A., Jenkins, W. S., Fodstad, J. C., & Matson, J. L. (2012). The effect of communication deficits on anxiety symptoms in infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorders. Behavior Therapy, 43, 142–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. de Bruin, E. I., Ferdinand, R. F., Meester, S., de Nijs, P. F. A., & Verheij, F. (2007). High rates of psychiatric co-morbidity in PDD-NOS. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 877–886.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Edwards, D. J., Perlman, A., & Reed, P. (2012). Unsupervised categorization in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1264–1269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Field, A. P. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Fodstad, J. L., Matson, J. L., Hess, J., & Neal, D. (2009). Social and communication behaviors in infants and toddlers with autism and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 12, 152–157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fombonne, E., Quirke, S., & Hagen, A. (2009). Prevalence and interpretation of recent trends in rates of pervasive developmental disorders. Mcgill Journal of Medicine: MJM: An International Forum for the Advancement of Medical Sciences by Students, 12, 73–73.Google Scholar
  20. Gadow, K. D., & Drabick, D. A. G. (2012). Symptoms of autism and schizophrenia spectrum disorders in clinically referred youth with oppositional defiant disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1157–1168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gadow, K. D., DeVincent, C., & Schneider, J. (2008). Predictors of psychiatric symptoms in children with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1710–1720.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gjevik, E., Eldevik, S., Fjaeran-Granum, T., & Sponheim, E. (2011). Kiddie-SADS reveals high rates of DSM-IV disorders in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 761–769.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guidubaldi, J., & Perry, J. D. (1984). Concurrent and predictive validity of the Battelle Developmental Inventory at the first grade level. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 44, 977–985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gutierrez, A., Jr., Hale, M. N., O’Brien, H. A., Fischer, A. J., Durocher, J. S., & Alessandri, M. (2009). Evaluating the effectiveness of two commonly used discrete trial procedures for teaching receptive discrimination to young children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3, 630–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hayward, D. W., Gale, C. M., & Eikeseth, S. (2009). Intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism: a research-based service model. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3, 571–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Horovitz, M., & Matson, J. L. (2011). Developmental milestones in toddlers with atypical development. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 2278–2282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kanne, S. M., Abbacchi, A. M., & Constantino, J. N. (2009). Multi-informant ratings of psychiatric symptom severity in children with autism spectrum disorders: the importance of environment context. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 856–864.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K. R., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 593–602.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kishore, M. T., & Basu, A. (2011). Early concerns of mothers of children later diagnosed with autism: implications for early identification. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 157–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kleinman, J. M., Robins, D. L., Ventola, P. E., Pandey, J., Boorstein, H., Esser, E. L., & Fein, D. (2008). The modified checklist for autism in toddlers: a follow-up study investigating the early detection of autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 827–839.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Leekam, S. R., Prior, M. R., & Uljarevic, M. (2011). Restricted and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders: a review of research in the last decade. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 562–593.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lord, C., & Bishop, S. L. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders: diagnosis, prevalence, and services for children and families. Social Policy Report. Volume 24, Number 2: Society for Research in Child Development.Google Scholar
  33. LoVullo, S. V., & Matson, J. L. (2009). Comorbid psychopathology in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30, 1288–1296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Matson, J. L. (2007). Current status of differential diagnosis for children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 109–118.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Matson, J. L., & Shoemaker, M. (2009). Intellectual disability and its relationship to autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30, 1107–1114.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Matson, J. L., & Wilkins, J. (2008). Nosology and diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2, 288–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Matson, J. L., & Wilkins, J. (2009). Psychometric testing methods for children’s social skills. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30, 249–274.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Matson, J. L., Boisjoli, J. A., & Wilkins, J. (2007a). The Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT). Baton Rouge, LA: Disability Consultants, LLC.Google Scholar
  39. Matson, J. L., Matson, M. L., & Rivet, T. T. (2007b). Social-skills treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders: an overview. Behavior Modification, 31, 682–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Matson, J. L., Dempsey, T., LoVullo, S. V., & Wilkins, J. (2008a). The effects of intellectual functioning on the range of core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29, 341–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Matson, J. L., Wilkins, J., & Gonzalez, M. (2008b). Early identification and diagnosis in autism spectrum disorders in young children and infants: how early is too early? Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2, 75–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Matson, J. L., Dempsey, T., & Fodstad, J. C. (2009a). Stereotypies and repetitive/restrictive behaviours in infants with autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 12, 122–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Matson, J. L., Dempsey, T., & Fodstad, J. C. (2009b). The effect of autism spectrum disorders on adaptive independent living skills in adults with severe intellectual disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30, 1203–1211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Matson, J. L., Wilkins, J., Sevin, J. A., Knight, C., Boisjoli, J. A., & Sharp, B. (2009c). Reliability and item content of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT): part 1-3. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3, 336–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Matson, J. L., Wilkins, J., Sharp, B., Knight, C., Sevin, J. A., & Boisjoli, J. A. (2009d). Sensitivity and specificity of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT): validity and cutoff scores for autism and PDD-NOS in toddlers. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 924–930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Matson, J. L., Boisjoli, J. A., Hess, J. A., & Wilkins, J. (2011). Comorbid psychopathology factor structure on the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits- Part 2 (BUISCUIT-Part 2). Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 426–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Matson, J. L., Belva, B. C., Hattier, M. A., & Matson, M. L. (2012). Scaling methods to measure psychopathology in persons with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 549–562.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mayes, S. D., Calhoun, S. L., Murray, M. J., & Zahid, J. (2011). Variables associated with anxiety and depression in children with autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23, 325–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Morgan, C. N., Roy, M., & Chance, P. (2003). Psychiatric comorbidity and medication use in autism: a community survey. Psychiatric Bulletin, 27, 378–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nebel-Schwalm, M. S., & Matson, J. L. (2008). Differential diagnosis. In L. M. Johnny (Ed.), Clinical assessment and intervention for autism spectrum disorders (pp. 91–129). San Diego: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Newborg, J. (2005). Battelle Developmental Inventory (2nd ed.). Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.Google Scholar
  52. Nicholas, J. S., Charles, J. M., Carpenter, L. A., King, L. B., Jenner, W., & Spratt, E. G. (2008). Prevalence and characteristics of children with autism-spectrum disorders. Annals of Epidemiology, 18, 130–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Remington, B., Hastings, R. P., Kovshoff, H., Degli Espinosa, F., Jahr, E., Brown, T., & Ward, N. (2007). Early intensive behavioral intervention: outcomes for children with autism and their parents after two years. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 112, 418–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rice, C. (2009). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders: Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries. Volume 58, Number SS-10: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
  55. Robins, D. L., Fein, D., Barton, M. L., & Green, J. A. (2001). The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: an initial study investigating the early detection of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Saylor, C. F., Boyce, G. C., Peagler, S. M., & Callahan, S. (2000). Brief report: cautions against using the Stanford-Binet IV to classify high-risk preschoolers. Journal of Pediactric Psychology, 25, 179–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., & Baird, G. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 921–929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Smith, K. R. M., & Matson, J. L. (2010a). Social skills: differences among adults with intellectual disabilities, co-morbid autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 1366–1372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Smith, K. R. M., & Matson, J. L. (2010b). Psychopathology: differences among adults with intellectually disabled, comorbid autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 743–749.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sukhodolsky, D. G., Scahill, L., Gadow, K. D., Arnold, L. E., Aman, M. G., McDougle, C. J., & Vitiello, B. (2008). Parent-rated anxiety symptoms in children with pervasive developmental disorders: frequency and association with core autism symptoms and cognitive functioning. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 117–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tidmarsh, L., & Volkmar, F. R. (2003). Diagnosis and epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48, 517.Google Scholar
  62. Weisbrot, D. M., Gadow, K. D., DeVincent, C. J., & Pomeroy, J. (2005). The presentation of anxiety in children with pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 15, 477–496.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. White, S. W., Oswald, D., Ollendick, T., & Scahill, L. (2009). Anxiety in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 216–229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Rieske
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johnny L. Matson
    • 1
  • Thompson E. DavisIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

Personalised recommendations