Exploring the Nature and Function of Anxiety in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2010
© 2010 American Psychological Association. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the American Psychological Association
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 281–292, December 2010
How to Cite
Wood, J. J. and Gadow, K. D. (2010), Exploring the Nature and Function of Anxiety in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17: 281–292. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2850.2010.01220.x
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2010
- Received November 29, 2009; revised June 6, 2010; accepted June 7, 2010.
- autism spectrum disorders;
- child anxiety disorders;
- differential diagnosis
[Clin Psychol Sci Prac 17: 281–292, 2010]
This article considers the nosology and pathogenesis of anxiety disorders in youth with autism. The comparability of anxiety in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) population in relation to the typically developing population has been suggested by some recent findings, but conceptual and empirical ambiguities remain. It is suggested that anxiety may play at least three roles: (a) a downstream consequence of ASD symptoms (e.g., via stress generation through social rejection); (b) a moderator of ASD symptom severity, such that certain core autism symptoms like social skill deficits and repetitive behaviors may be exacerbated by anxiety; and (c) as a proxy of core ASD symptoms. Suggestions for clarifying the nature and function of anxiety in autism are made.