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Aggressive Behavior Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Prevalence and Correlates in a Large Clinical Sample.

TitleAggressive Behavior Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Prevalence and Correlates in a Large Clinical Sample.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsPresmanes Hill, A, Zuckerman, KE, Hagen, A, Kriz, DJ, Duvall, SW, van Santen, J, Nigg, J, Fair, D, Fombonne, E
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume8
Issue9
Pagination1121-1133
Date Published2014 Sep 1
ISSN1750-9467
Keywordsairp
Abstract

Aggressive behavior problems (ABP) are frequent yet poorly understood in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and are likely to co-vary significantly with comorbid problems. We examined the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of ABP in a clinical sample of children with ASD (N = 400; 2-16.9 years). We also investigated whether children with ABP experience more intensive medical interventions, greater impairments in behavioral functioning, and more severe comorbid problems than children with ASD who do not have ABP. One in four children with ASD had Child Behavior Checklist scores on the Aggressive Behavior scale in the clinical range (T-scores ≥ 70). Sociodemographic factors (age, gender, parent education, race, ethnicity) were unrelated to ABP status. The presence of ABP was significantly associated with increased use of psychotropic drugs and melatonin, lower cognitive functioning, lower ASD severity, and greater comorbid sleep, internalizing, and attention problems. In multivariate models, sleep, internalizing, and attention problems were most strongly associated with ABP. These comorbid problems may hold promise as targets for treatment to decrease aggressive behavior and proactively identify high-risk profiles for prevention.

DOI10.1016/j.rasd.2014.05.006
Alternate JournalRes Autism Spectr Disord
PubMed ID25221619
PubMed Central IDPMC4160737
Grant ListK23 MH095828 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States