Demographic and clinical correlates of autism symptom domains and autism spectrum diagnosis

Thomas W. Frazier, Eric A. Youngstrom, Rebecca Embacher, Antonio Y. Hardan, John N. Constantino, Paul Law, Robert L Findling, Charis Eng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Demographic and clinical factors may influence assessment of autism symptoms. This study evaluated these correlates and also examined whether social communication and interaction and restricted/repetitive behavior provided unique prediction of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. We analyzed data from 7352 siblings included in the Interactive Autism Network registry. Social communication and interaction and restricted/repetitive behavior symptoms were obtained using caregiver-reports on the Social Responsiveness Scale. Demographic and clinical correlates were covariates in regression models predicting social communication and interaction and restricted/repetitive behavior symptoms. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses evaluated the incremental validity of social communication and interaction and restricted/repetitive behavior domains over and above global autism symptoms. Autism spectrum disorder diagnosis was the strongest correlate of caregiver-reported social communication and interaction and restricted/ repetitive behavior symptoms. The presence of comorbid diagnoses also increased symptom levels. Social communication and interaction and restricted/repetitive behavior symptoms provided significant, but modest, incremental validity in predicting diagnosis beyond global autism symptoms. These findings suggest that autism spectrum disorder diagnosis is by far the largest determinant of quantitatively measured autism symptoms. Externalizing (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and internalizing (anxiety) behavior, low cognitive ability, and demographic factors may confound caregiver-report of autism symptoms, potentially necessitating a continuous norming approach to the revision of symptom measures. Social communication and interaction and restricted/repetitive behavior symptoms may provide incremental validity in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-582
Number of pages12
JournalAutism
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Autistic Disorder
Interpersonal Relations
Demography
Communication
Caregivers
Aptitude
Symptom Assessment
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
ROC Curve
Registries
Siblings
Anxiety
Logistic Models
Autism Spectrum Disorder

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • autism symptoms
  • diagnosis
  • prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Frazier, T. W., Youngstrom, E. A., Embacher, R., Hardan, A. Y., Constantino, J. N., Law, P., ... Eng, C. (2014). Demographic and clinical correlates of autism symptom domains and autism spectrum diagnosis. Autism, 18(5), 571-582. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361313481506

Demographic and clinical correlates of autism symptom domains and autism spectrum diagnosis. / Frazier, Thomas W.; Youngstrom, Eric A.; Embacher, Rebecca; Hardan, Antonio Y.; Constantino, John N.; Law, Paul; Findling, Robert L; Eng, Charis.

In: Autism, Vol. 18, No. 5, 2014, p. 571-582.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frazier, TW, Youngstrom, EA, Embacher, R, Hardan, AY, Constantino, JN, Law, P, Findling, RL & Eng, C 2014, 'Demographic and clinical correlates of autism symptom domains and autism spectrum diagnosis', Autism, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 571-582. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361313481506
Frazier TW, Youngstrom EA, Embacher R, Hardan AY, Constantino JN, Law P et al. Demographic and clinical correlates of autism symptom domains and autism spectrum diagnosis. Autism. 2014;18(5):571-582. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361313481506
Frazier, Thomas W. ; Youngstrom, Eric A. ; Embacher, Rebecca ; Hardan, Antonio Y. ; Constantino, John N. ; Law, Paul ; Findling, Robert L ; Eng, Charis. / Demographic and clinical correlates of autism symptom domains and autism spectrum diagnosis. In: Autism. 2014 ; Vol. 18, No. 5. pp. 571-582.
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