Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 2851–2861 | Cite as

Traditional and Atypical Presentations of Anxiety in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Connor Morrow Kerns
  • Philip C. Kendall
  • Leandra Berry
  • Margaret C. Souders
  • Martin E. Franklin
  • Robert T. Schultz
  • Judith Miller
  • John Herrington
Original Paper

Abstract

We assessed anxiety consistent (i.e., “traditional”) and inconsistent (i.e., “atypical”) with diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM) definitions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Differential relationships between traditional anxiety, atypical anxiety, child characteristics, anxiety predictors and ASD-symptomology were explored. Fifty-nine participants (7–17 years, Mage = 10.48 years; IQ > 60) with ASD and parents completed semi-structured interviews, self- and parent-reports. Seventeen percent of youth presented with traditional anxiety, 15 % with atypical anxiety, and 31 % with both. Language ability, anxious cognitions and hypersensitivity predicted traditional anxiety, whereas traditional anxiety and ASD symptoms predicted atypical anxiety. Findings suggest youth with ASD express anxiety in ways similar and dissimilar to DSM definitions. Similarities support the presence of comorbid anxiety disorders in ASD. Whether dissimilarities are unique to ASD requires further examination.

Keywords

Anxiety Children Adolescents Comorbidity Atypical Traditional 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the families who participated in this research and to Ivy Giserman for her assistance in the collection of this data. Funding was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (SAP # 4100042728 to R. Schultz), the National Institute of Mental Health (RC1MH08879 to R. Schultz; MH063747; MH086438 to P. Kendall) and Shire Pharmaceuticals (to J. Herrington).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Connor Morrow Kerns
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Philip C. Kendall
    • 3
  • Leandra Berry
    • 2
    • 4
  • Margaret C. Souders
    • 2
  • Martin E. Franklin
    • 5
  • Robert T. Schultz
    • 2
  • Judith Miller
    • 2
  • John Herrington
    • 2
  1. 1.A.J. Drexel Autism InstituteDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Autism ResearchChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Baylor College of MedicineTexas Children’s HospitalHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaUSA

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