Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 2404–2409

The Relationship Between Anxiety and Repetitive Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Original Paper

Abstract

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are vulnerable to anxiety. Repetitive behaviours are a core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and have been associated anxiety. This study examined repetitive behaviours and anxiety in two groups of children with autism spectrum disorder, those with high anxiety and those with lower levels of anxiety. Children with high anxiety had more repetitive behaviours than those without anxiety. Within the anxiety sample, higher levels of insistence on sameness were associated with more anxiety. No association was found between sensory motor repetitive behaviours and anxiety in this group. In the non-anxious sample, anxiety was associated with sensory motor repetitive behaviours. These findings indicate a differential relationship for repetitive behaviours in relation to anxious and non-anxious children with ASD.

Keywords

Repetitive behaviours Anxiety Insistence on sameness Autism spectrum disorder 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Rodgers
    • 1
  • M. Glod
    • 1
  • B. Connolly
    • 2
  • H. McConachie
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleUK
  2. 2.School of Psychology, Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleUK
  3. 3.Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleUK

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