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Aggression in Children and Adolescents with ASD: Prevalence and Risk Factors

Abstract

The prevalence of and risk factors for aggression were examined in 1,380 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prevalence was high, with parents reporting that 68% had demonstrated aggression to a caregiver and 49% to non-caregivers. Overall, aggression was not associated with clinician observed severity of ASD symptoms, intellectual functioning, gender, marital status, parental educational level, or aspects of communication. Individuals who are younger, come from a higher income family, have more parent reported social/communication problems, or engage in repetitive behaviors were more likely to demonstrate aggression. Given the significant impact of aggression on individual and family outcomes, it is hoped that this knowledge will inform more targeted intervention efforts.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a grant from the Simons Foundation (SFARI award #26021565-08C000066 to Judith Miles). We are grateful to all of the families at the participating Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) sites, as well as the principal investigators (A. Beaudet, A. Klin, B. Peterson, C. Lord, C. Martin, C. Saulnier, C. Walsh, D. Geschwind, D. Grice, D. Ledbetter, D. Martin, E. Cook, E. Fombonne, E. Wijsman, J. Miles, J. Constantino, J. Piggot, J. Sutcliffe, M. State, O. Ousley, R. Bernier, R. Maxim, W. Stone). We appreciate obtaining access to phenotypic data on SFARI Base, https://ordering.base.sfari.org/~browse_collection/archive[sfari_collection_v7]/ui:view().

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Correspondence to Stephen M. Kanne.

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Kanne, S.M., Mazurek, M.O. Aggression in Children and Adolescents with ASD: Prevalence and Risk Factors. J Autism Dev Disord 41, 926–937 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-010-1118-4

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Aggression
  • Disruptive behaviors