Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 3219–3231 | Cite as

Reliability and Validity of Parent- and Child-Rated Anxiety Measures in Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Aaron J. Kaat
  • Luc Lecavalier
Original Paper

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anxiety frequently co-occur. Research on the phenomenology and treatment of anxiety in ASD is expanding, but is hampered by the lack of instruments validated for this population. This study evaluated the self- and parent-reported Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale in Children—2 among 46 youth with ASD. Internal consistency and test–retest reliability were acceptable, but inter-rater reliability was poor. Parent–child agreement was better for youth with higher IQs, less severe ASD symptoms, or more social cognitive skills. Convergent and divergent validity were acceptable. Demographic characteristics were considered as predictors of anxiety: they were unrelated to parent-report, but younger age and more severe ASD were related to increased self-reported anxiety.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Anxiety Psychometrics RCADS MASC-2 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for the study was provided by the Nisonger Center Research Fund and the Ohio Department of Mental Health Small Grant Program. The authors also wish to Ms. Rebecca Weishaar, who assisted with the study, and all of the families who participated in it.

References

  1. Anholt, G. E., Cath, D. C., van Oppen, P., Eikelenboom, M., Smit, J. H., van Megen, H., & van Balkom, A. J. L. M. (2010). Autism and ADHD symptoms in patients with OCD: Are they associated with specific OC symptom dimensions or OC symptom severity? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 580–589.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 213–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baldwin, J. S., & Dadds, M. R. (2007). Reliability and validity of parent and child versions of the multidimensional anxiety scale for children in community samples. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 252–260.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beesdo, K., Knappe, S., & Pine, D. S. (2009). Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: Developmental issues and implications for DSM-V. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 32, 483–524.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Biederman, J., Rosenbaum, J. F., Bolduc-Murphy, E. A., Faraone, S. V., Chaloff, J., Hirshfeld, D. R., & Kagan, J. (1993). A 3-year follow-up of children with and without behavioral inhibition. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32, 814–821.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chorpita, B. F., Yim, L. M., Moffitt, C. E., Umemoto, L. A., & Francis, S. E. (2000). Assessment of symptoms of DSM-IV anxiety and depression in children: A revised child anxiety and depression scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 835–855.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Cicchetti, D. V., Koenig, K., Klin, A., Volkmar, F. R., Paul, R., & Sparrow, S. (2011). From Bayes through marginal utility to effect sizes: A guide to understanding the clinical and statistical significance of the results of autism research findings. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 168–174.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Costello, E. J., Egger, H. L., & Angold, A. (2005). The developmental epidemiology of anxiety disorders: Phenomenology, prevalence, and comorbidity. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 14, 631–648.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dyck, M. J., Ferguson, K., & Shochet, I. M. (2001). Do autism spectrum disorders differ from each other and from non-spectrum disorders on emotion recognition tests? European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 10, 105–116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Farrugia, S., & Hudson, J. (2006). Anxiety in adolescents with Asperger syndrome: Negative thoughts, behavior problems, and life interference. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, 21, 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gadow, K. D., DeVincent, C. J., Pomeroy, J., & Azizian, A. (2005). Comparison of DSM-IV symptoms in elementary school-aged children with PDD versus clinic and community samples. Autism, 9, 392–415.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gadow, K. G., & Sprafkin, J. (2002). Child symptom inventory 4: Screening and norms manual. Stony Brook, NY: Checkmate Plus LTD.Google Scholar
  14. Gotham, K., Pickles, A., & Lord, C. (2009). Standardizing ADOS scores for a measure of severity in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 693–705.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Gotham, K., Risi, S., Pickles, A., & Lord, C. (2007). The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule: Revised algorithms for improved diagnostic validity. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 613–627.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Grondhuis, S. N., & Aman, M. G. (2012). Assessment of anxiety in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 1345–1365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hallett, V., Lecavalier, L., Sukhodolsky, D. G., Cipriano, N., Aman, M. G., McCracken, J. T., et al. (2013a). Exploring the manifestations of anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 2341–2352.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hallett, V., Ronald, A., Colvert, E., Ames, C., Woodhouse, E., Lietz, S., et al. (2013b). Exploring anxiety symptoms in a large-scale twin study of children with autism spectrum disorders, their co-twins, and controls. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 1176–1185.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hollander, E., King, A., Delaney, K., Smith, C. J., & Silverman, J. M. (2003). Obsessive-compulsive behaviors in parents of multiplex autism families. Psychiatry Research, 117, 11–16.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hope, T. L., Adams, C., Reynolds, L., Powers, D., Perez, R. A., & Kelley, M. L. (1999). Parent vs. self-report: Contributions toward diagnosis of adolescent psychopathology. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 21, 349–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ivarsson, T., & Melin, K. (2008). Autism spectrum traits in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22, 969–978.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaat, A. J., Gadow, K. D., & Lecavalier, L. (2013). Psychiatric symptom impairment in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 959–969.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kerns, C. M., & Kendall, P. C. (2012). The presentation and classification of anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. Clinical Psychology Science and Practice, 19, 323–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kim, Y. S., Leventhal, B. L., Koh, Y.-J., Fombonne, E., Laska, E., Cheon, K.-A., et al. (2011). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in a total population sample. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 904–912.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lecavalier, L., Gadow, K., DeVincent, C. J., & Edwards, M. C. (2009). Validation of DSM-IV model of psychiatric syndromes in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 278–289.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Lecavalier, L., Kaat, A. J., & Stratis, E. A. (2014a). Mental health disorders in young children with autism spectrum disorders. In J. L. Matson, P. Sturmey, J. Tarbox, & D. Dixon (Eds.), Handbook of early intervention for autism spectrum disorders: Research, practice, and policy (pp. 753–780). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Lecavalier, L., Wood, J. J., Halladay, A. K., Jones, N. E., Aman, M. G., Cook, E. H., et al. (2014b). Measuring anxiety as a treatment endpoint in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 1128–1143.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H., Leventhal, B. L., DiLavore, P. C., et al. (2000). The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 205–223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. March, J. S. (2012). Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for children (2nd ed.). North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  30. March, J. S., Parker, J. D. A., Sullivan, K., Stallings, P., & Conners, K. (1997). The Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for children (MASC): Factor structure, reliability, and validity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 554–565.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Meyer, J. A., Mundy, P. C., Vaughan van Hecke, A., & Durocher, J. S. (2006). Social attribution processes and comorbid psychiatric symptoms in children with Asperger syndrome. Autism, 10, 383–402.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Muris, P. (2006). The pathogenesis of childhood anxiety disorders: Considerations from a developmental psychopathology perspective. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30, 5–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ozsivadjian, A., Knott, F., & Magiati, I. (2012). Parent and child perspectives on the nature of anxiety in children and young people with autism spectrum disorders: A focus group study. Autism, 16, 107–121.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Preacher, K. J., Curran, P. J., & Bauer, D. J. (2006). Computational tools for probing interactions in multiple linear regression, multilevel modeling, and latent curve analysis. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 31, 437–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ramsawh, H. J., Chavira, D. A., & Stein, M. B. (2010). Burden of anxiety disorders in pediatric medical settings. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164, 965–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Reaven, J., Blakeley-Smith, A., Culhane-Shelburne, K., & Hepburn, S. (2012). Group cognitive behavior therapy for children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and anxiety: A randomized trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 410–419.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Renno, P., & Wood, J. J. (2013). Discriminant and convergent validity of the anxiety construct in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 2135–2146.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Richman, D. M., Dotson, W. H., Rose, C. A., Thompson, S., & Abby, L. (2012). Effects of age on the types and severity of excessive fear or the absence of fear in children and young adults with autism. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 5, 215–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Russell, E., & Sofronoff, K. (2005). Anxiety and social worries in children with Asperger syndrome. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39, 633–638.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Sattler, J. M. (2008). Assessment of children: Cognitive foundations (5th ed.). La Mesa, CA: Jerome M. Sattler Publisher Inc.Google Scholar
  41. Shalom, D. B., Mostofsky, S. H., Hazlett, R. L., Goldberg, M. C., Landa, R. J., Faran, Y., et al. (2006). Normal physiological emotions but differences in expression of conscious feelings in children with high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 395–400.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., & Baird, G. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 921–929.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Spence, S. H. (1997). Structure of anxiety symptoms among children: A confirmatory factor-analytic study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 280–297.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Sterling, L., Renno, P., Storch, E. A., Ehrenreich-May, J., Lewin, A. B., Arnold, E., et al. (2015). Validity of the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale for youth with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 19, 113–117.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Storch, E. A., Arnold, E. B., Lewin, A. B., Nadeau, J. M., Jones, A. M., De Nadai, A. S., et al. (2013). The effect of cognitive-behavioral therapy versus treatment as usual for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52, 132–142.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Storch, E. A., Larson, M. J., Ehrenreich-May, J., Arnold, E. B., Jones, A. M., Renno, P., et al. (2012a). Peer victimization in youth with autism spectrum disorders and co-occurring anxiety: Relations with psychopathology and loneliness. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 24, 575–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Storch, E. A., Wood, J. J., Ehrenreich-May, J., Jones, A. M., Park, J. M., Lewin, A. B., & Murphy, T. K. (2012b). Convergent and discriminant validity and reliability of the pediatric anxiety rating scale in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 2374–2382.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Stratis, E. A., & Lecavalier, L. (2015). Informant agreement for youth with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability: A meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 1026–1041.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Sukhodolsky, D. G., Scahill, L., Gadow, K. D., Arnold, L. E., Aman, M. G., McDougle, C. J., et al. (2008). Parent-rated anxiety symptoms in children with pervasive developmental disorders: Frequency and association with core autism symptoms and cognitive functioning. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 117–128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Ung, D., Arnold, E. B., De Nadai, A. S., Lewin, A. B., Phares, V., Murphy, T. K., & Storch, E. A. (2014). Inter-rater reliability of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV in high-functioning youth with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26, 53–65.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Fourth Edition. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  52. White, S. W., Ollendick, T., Albano, A. M., Oswald, D., Johnson, C., Southam-Gerow, M. A., et al. (2013). Randomized controlled trial: Multimodal anxiety and social skill intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 382–394.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. White, S. W., Oswald, D., Ollendick, T., & Scahill, L. (2009). Anxiety in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 216–229.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. White, S. W., & Roberson-Nay, R. (2009). Anxiety, social deficits, and loneliness in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 1006–1013.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. White, S. W., Schry, A. R., & Maddox, B. B. (2012). Brief report: The assessment of anxiety in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 1138–1145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Wood, J. J., Drahota, A., Sze, K., Har, K., Chiu, A., & Langer, D. A. (2009). Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 224–234.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Zandt, F., Prior, M., & Kyrios, M. (2007). Repetitive behaviour in children with high functioning autism and obsessive compulsive disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 251–259.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nisonger Center and the Department of PsychologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical Social SciencesNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations