Are Generalized Anxiety and Depression Symptoms Associated with Social Competence in Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder?
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Generalized anxiety and depression symptoms may be associated with poorer social outcomes among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) without intellectual disability. The goal of this study was to examine whether generalized anxiety and depression symptoms were associated with social competence after accounting for IQ, age, and gender in typically developing children and in children with ASD. Results indicated that for the TD group, generalized anxiety and depression accounted for 38% of the variance in social competence and for children with ASD, they accounted for 29% of the variance in social competence. However, only depression accounted for a significant amount of the variance. The findings underscore the importance of assessing the social impact of internalizing symptoms in children with ASD.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Generalized anxiety disorder Depression Social outcomes Social competence
This research was supported by a scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Initiative in Health Research (STIHR): Autism Research Training Program to the first author and a Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Scholar Award to the second author. We would like to thank Dr. Rachel Fouladi for her helpful comments at various stages of the study.
KJ and GI designed the study. KJ assisted with data collection, performed statistical analyses, interpreted the data, and writing the manuscript. GI coordinated data collection, assisted with interpretation of the data, and in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant number 41020100282).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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