The Stability of Self-Reported Anxiety in Youth with Autism Versus ADHD or Typical Development
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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at risk for anxiety symptoms. Few anxiety measures are validated for individuals with ASD, and the nature of ASD raises questions about reliability of self-reported anxiety. This study examined longitudinal stability and change of self-reported anxiety in higher functioning youth with ASD (HFASD) compared to youth with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and typical development (TD) using the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (March, 2012; March et al. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 36(4):554–565, 1997). Diagnostic groups demonstrated comparable evidence of stability for most dimensions of anxiety. The HFASD group displayed higher anxiety than both comparison groups, especially physical symptoms. These findings have implications for identification and measurement of anxiety in ASD.
KeywordsAnxiety Self-Report Autism spectrum disorder Reliability
HS drafted the manuscript, performed statistical analyses and interpretation, and collected data for the study; NM collaborated on the design of the study and collected data for the study; LS-L collaborated on the design of the study and coordinated data collection for the study; MZ collaborated on the design of the study and drafting the manuscript, and collected data for the study; PM designed and coordinated the study, and collaborated on statistical analyses and drafting the manuscript.
This study was supported by the Institute of Educational Sciences Grant IES R324A120168 (P. Mundy) and the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry Lisa Capps Endowment for Research on Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Education.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that thery 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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