A Large Scale Study of the Psychometric Characteristics of the IBR Modified Overt Aggression Scale: Findings and Evidence for Increased Self-Destructive Behaviors in Adult Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Ira L. CohenEmail author
  • John A. Tsiouris
  • Michael J. Flory
  • Soh-Yule Kim
  • Robert Freedland
  • Glenn Heaney
  • Jill Pettinger
  • W. Ted Brown
Original Paper


The psychometric characteristics of the IBR Modified Overt Aggression Scale were studied in over 2,000 people with Intellectual Disability (ID). Reliability ranged from good to excellent. Aggression toward others and objects was highest in the youngest adults, in those in the moderate to severe range of ID, and in those with an autism spectrum diagnosis. Self-injury was highest in those in the severe to profound range of ID and in those with autism, particularly the females. Females with autism were also more likely to make the most self-deprecating statements. Our data suggest that adult females with autism are a unique group and support the notion that mood and anxiety disorders play a role in self-destructive behaviors in this population.


Aggression Self-injury Prevalence Psychometrics Rating scales Autism Females 



This research was supported by funds from the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). The authors are grateful to the following Chief Psychologists without whom this project could not have been done: Ron Michelini, Jerome Meyer, Joseph Szempruch, Donald Noble, Ed Sorel, Don Morris, Susan Verzulli, James Baker, Ann Troy, Richard Zelhof, Stephen Daurio, Mary Kennedy, and Herbert Medetsky, and to Christine Muller, OMRDD Research and Analysis Unit, Division of Policy and Enterprise Solutions, for providing the demographics of the population. The authors are also thankful to Stuart Yudofsky for permission to modify the OAS and to Warren Zigman for his advice and suggestions. Portions of this study were presented at the 13th IASSID World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ira L. Cohen
    • 1
    Email author
  • John A. Tsiouris
    • 2
  • Michael J. Flory
    • 3
  • Soh-Yule Kim
    • 1
  • Robert Freedland
    • 4
  • Glenn Heaney
    • 2
  • Jill Pettinger
    • 5
  • W. Ted Brown
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA
  2. 2.George A. Jervis ClinicNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA
  3. 3.Research Design and Analysis ServiceNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA
  4. 4.Center for Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental DisabilitiesNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA
  5. 5.OMRDD Bureau of Behavioral and Clinical SolutionsAlbanyUSA
  6. 6.Department of Human GeneticsNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA

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