Identifier

etd-03122015-171432

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are reported to evince high rates of comorbid symptoms. Co-occurring disorders among individuals with ASD are often difficult to assess and diagnose accurately. Also, comorbid conditions frequently exacerbate symptoms of ASD. Different treatment regimens may be effective for comorbid symptoms in ASD; however, research looking at comorbid symptoms and ASD is limited. The current study aimed to extend the literature in this area by examining the relationship between ASD and comorbid symptoms. First, the current study assessed how often and how severely comorbid symptoms were endorsed. Further, autism severity was used to predict comorbid symptoms. Autism severity was measured using the Autism Spectrum Disorder- Diagnostic Child Version (ASD-DC), and comorbid symptoms were obtained using the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Comorbidity Child Version (ASD-CC). A simple regression was conducted using the ASD-DC total score as the predictor and ASD-CC total score as the dependent variable. Then, a series of regression analyses was conducted with ASD severity as the predictor and ASD-CC subscores as dependent variables. In the current study, a high rate of comorbid behaviors was reported. Also, the current study found that autism severity predicted overall comorbid symptoms. Specifically, autism severity significantly predicted repetitive behaviors, tantrum behaviors, and avoidant behaviors. This finding is of considerable clinical value as it suggests that individuals with more severe ASD symptoms also contend with greater comorbid symptoms. This is concerning as these comorbid symptoms alter symptom presentation and further exacerbate deficits, indicating that it is crucial for clinicians to routinely evaluate these comorbid symptoms. Further implications of these findings are discussed.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L

Included in

Psychology Commons

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