Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1841–1846 | Cite as

Brief Report: Screening Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder for Anxiety and Depression

  • Yong-Hwee Nah
  • Neil Brewer
  • Robyn L. Young
  • Rebecca Flower
Brief Report

Abstract

Although depression and anxiety are the most common comorbidities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), descriptive data for their prevalence among autistic adults are limited. This study provides descriptive data for a cohort of 155 autistic adults (mean age = 27.1 years, SD = 11.9) of average IQ on the short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Mini Social Phobia Inventory. Also included were 79 non-ASD participants (mean age = 26.2, SD = 10.2) who completed the mini-SPIN. A substantial percentage (39–46%) of autistic adults scored within the ‘Moderate’ to ‘Extremely Severe’ range on the DASS-21. The DASS-21 would be a valuable rapid screening device for these comorbid conditions in autistic adults.

Keywords

DASS-21 Mini-SPIN Autism Spectrum Disorder adult 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a Flinders Research Grant and the Hamish Ramsay Fund. We gratefully acknowledge Emily Barnett for assistance with data collection.

Author Contributions

Y-HN, NB, and RY developed the study concept. RF collected most of the data. Y-HN performed the analyses. Y-HN and NB drafted the paper, and RY and RF provided critical revisions. All authors approved the final version of the paper for submission.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Antony, M. M., Bieling, P. J., Cox, B. J., Enns, M. W., & Swinson, R. P. (1998). Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychological Assessment, 10, 176.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.10.2.176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistic. (2017). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4430.0Main%20Features75205.
  3. Baldwin, S., Costley, D., & Warren, A. (2014). Employment activities and experiences of adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 2440–2449.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2112-z.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Brewer, N., Young, R. L., & Barnett, E. (2017). Measuring theory of mind in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 1927–1941.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3080-x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Cassidy, S., Bradley, P., Robinson, J., Allison, C., McHugh, M., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2014). Suicidal ideation and suicide plans or attempts in adults with Asperger’s syndrome attending a specialist diagnostic clinic: A clinical cohort study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1, 142–147.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70248-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(2), 1–21.Google Scholar
  7. Connor, K. M., Kobak, K. A., Churchill, L. E., Katzelnick, D., & Davidson, J. R. (2001). Mini-SPIN: A brief screening assessment for generalized social anxiety disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 14, 137–140.  https://doi.org/10.1002/da.1055.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Crawford, J. R., Cayley, C., Lovibond, P. F., Wilson, P. H., & Hartley, C. (2011). Percentile norms and accompanying interval estimates from an Australian general adult population sample for self-report mood scales (BAI, BDI, CRSD, CES-D, DASS, DASS-21, STAI-X, STAI-Y, SRDS, and SRAS). Australian Psychologist, 46, 3–14.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-9544.2010.00003.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crawford, J. R., & Henry, J. D. (2003). The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS): Normative data and latent structure in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 111–131.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466503321903544.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Croen, L. A., Zerbo, O., Qian, Y., Massolo, M. L., Rich, S., Sidney, S., & Kripke, C. (2015). The health status of adults on the autism spectrum. Autism, 19, 814–823.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361315577517.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. de Lima Osório, F., Crippa, J. A., & Loureiro, S. R. (2010). Further study of the psychometric qualities of a brief screening tool for Social Phobia (MINI-SPIN) applied to clinical and nonclinical samples. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 46, 266–278.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6163.2010.00261.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gaman, A., Godin, O., Scheid, I., Monnet, D., Murzi, E., Teruel, A. M., … & Infor, T. (2017). Psychiatric co-morbidities in a French cohort of adults with high-functioning autism (HFA). European Psychiatry, 41, S136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and descriptive data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 227–239.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466505X29657.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Hofvander, B., Delorme, R., Chaste, P., Nydén, A., Wentz, E., Ståhlberg, O., … & Råstam, M. (2009). Psychiatric and psychosocial problems in adults with normal-intelligence autism spectrum disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 9, 35.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-9-35.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Leyfer, O. T., Folstein, S. E., Bacalman, S., Davis, N. O., Dinh, E., Morgan, J., … & Lainhart, J. E. (2006). Comorbid psychiatric disorders in children with autism: Interview development and rates of disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 849–861.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0123-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995). Manual for the depression anxiety stress scales. Sydney: Psychology Foundation Monograph.Google Scholar
  17. LoVullo, S. V., & Matson, J. L. (2009). Comorbid psychopathology in adults with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30, 1288–1296.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2009.05.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Lugnegård, T., Hallerbäck, M. U., & Gillberg, C. (2011). Psychiatric comorbidity in young adults with a clinical diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1910–1917.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2011.03.025.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Maddox, B. B., & White, S. W. (2015). Comorbid social anxiety disorder in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 3949–3960.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2531-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Seeley-Wait, E., Abbott, M. J., & Rapee, R. M. (2009). Psychometric properties of the mini-social phobia inventory. Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 11, 231–236.  https://doi.org/10.4088/PCC.07m00576.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., & Baird, G. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 921–929.  https://doi.org/10.1097/CHI.0b013e318179964f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Skokauskas, N., & Gallagher, L. (2010). Psychosis, affective disorders and anxiety in autistic spectrum disorder: Prevalence and nosological considerations. Psychopathology, 43, 8–16.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000255958.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Taylor, J. L., Henninger, N. A., & Mailick, M. R. (2015). Longitudinal patterns of employment and postsecondary education for adults with autism and average-range IQ. Autism, 19, 785–793.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361315585643.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. van Steensel, F. J., Bögels, S. M., & Perrin, S. (2011). Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 302–317.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-011-0097-0.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Wechsler, D. (2011). WASI-II: Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  26. Weeks, J. W., Spokas, M. E., & Heimberg, R. G. (2007). Psychometric evaluation of the mini-social phobia inventory (Mini-SPIN) in a treatment-seeking sample. Depression and Anxiety, 24, 382–391.  https://doi.org/10.1002/da.20250.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Zimmerman, D., Ownsworth, T., O’Donovan, A., Roberts, J., & Gullo, M. J. (2017). Associations between executive functions and mental health outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Psychiatry Research, 53, 360–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education, Psychology and Social WorkFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Specialisterne AustraliaMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations