Characteristics and anxiety symptom presentation associated with autism spectrum traits in youth with anxiety disorders

Department of Psychology, Temple University, 1701 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, United States.
Journal of anxiety disorders (Impact Factor: 2.68). 02/2012; 26(3):459-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.01.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is limited information about the nature of anxiety among youth with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study examined (a) differences in the clinical characteristics of anxious youth with and without symptoms of ASD and (b) the symptoms of anxiety that best distinguish between these groups. Results indicated that anxious youth with elevated ASD symptoms had significantly more diagnoses (e.g., specific phobias), and were more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for social phobia (and list social concerns among their top fears) than youth without elevated ASD symptoms. At the symptom level, severity of interpersonal worry based on parent report and severity of fear of medical (doctor/dentist) visits based on youth report best differentiated ASD status. The findings inform diagnostic evaluations, case conceptualization, and treatment planning for youth with anxiety disorders and ASD symptoms.

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Available from: Cara A Settipani, Jan 26, 2015
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