Title page for ETD etd-10212009-091310

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hess, Julie
URN etd-10212009-091310
Title Gender Differences in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Comorbid Psychopathology
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Matson, Johnny L. Committee Chair
Gouvier, Wm. Drew Committee Member
Lane, Sean Committee Member
  • Autism
  • Comorbidity
  • ASD-CC
  • Children
  • Adolescents
Date of Defense 2009-09-03
Availability unrestricted

Children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) frequently exhibit symptoms that are not associated with the core features of ASD. These symptoms may meet criteria for an additional diagnosis; however, accurate assessment of comorbid psychiatric conditions in ASD has been hindered by a lack of measures designed for this specific purpose. The newly constructed assessment measure, Autism Spectrum Disorders-Comorbid for Children (ASD-CC) has been developed specifically for examining comorbid psychiatric disorders in ASD. Therefore, this study set out to assess differences in the endorsement rates of psychiatric symptoms in children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD compared to their same aged typically developing peers, utilizing the ASD-CC. Additionally, an examination of gender differences of psychiatric symptom endorsements was conducted. Results of the analyses indicated that there are no significant differences between males and females in regards to psychiatric symptom endorsement. However, the ASD-CC did reveal significant differences between children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD compared to those without ASD. The subscales (i.e., of the ASD-CC) worry/depressed, under-eating, over-eating, avoidant behavior, and repetitive behavior all contributed to the significant difference between groups. The implications of the significant and non-significant results as well as directions for future research are discussed.

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