Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and commonly occur in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Little is known about how RRBs manifest in ADHD. We quantified and compared factor structures of RRBs in children with ASD (n = 634) or ADHD (n = 448), and related factors to sex and IQ. A four-factor solution emerged, including Stereotypy, Self-Injury, Compulsions, and Ritualistic/Sameness. Factor structures were equivalent across diagnoses, though symptoms were more severe in ASD. IQ negatively correlated with Stereotypy, Self-Injury, and Compulsions in ASD, and negatively correlated with Compulsions and Ritualistic/Sameness behaviors in ADHD. In ASD only, females exhibited higher Self-Injury. Thus, patterns of RRBs are preserved across ASD and ADHD, but severity and relationship with IQ differed.
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Autism spectrum disorder
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Exploratory factor analysis
Restricted and repetitive behaviors
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RS is funded by an NSERC Discovery Grant (RGPIN-2017-04656), a SSHRC Insight Grant (435-2017-0936), the University of Western Ontario Faculty Development Research Fund, the province of Ontario Early Researcher Award, and a Canadian Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund (37497).
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Brierley, N.J., McDonnell, C.G., Parks, K.M.A. et al. Factor Structure of Repetitive Behaviors Across Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 51, 3391–3400 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04800-0
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Factor analysis
- Restricted and repetitive behaviors