Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 2396–2407 | Cite as

Characterizing Health Disparities in the Age of Autism Diagnosis in a Study of 8-Year-Old Children

  • Chandni Parikh
  • Margaret Kurzius-Spencer
  • Ann M. Mastergeorge
  • Sydney Pettygrove
Original Paper


The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often delayed from the time of noted concerns to the actual diagnosis. The current study used child- and family-level factors to identify homogeneous classes in a surveillance-based sample (n = 2303) of 8-year-old children with ASD. Using latent class analysis, a 5-class model emerged and the class memberships were examined in relation to the child’s median age at ASD diagnosis. Class 3, with known language delays and a high advantage socioeconomically had the lowest age of ASD diagnosis (46.74 months) in comparison to Classes 1 (64.99 months), 4 (58.14 months), and 5 (69.78 months) in this sample. Findings demonstrate sociodemographic and developmental disparities related to the age at ASD diagnosis.


Autism Early diagnosis Age Delayed diagnosis Health disparities 



The data in this article were collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network for Arizona during study years 2002–2010, and was funded by Grant Number 5UR3/DD000680. The results presented here are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study protocols have been reviewed by the human subjects review boards at the University of Arizona and at participating data sources. These review boards have deemed this work to be public health surveillance and exempt from consent requirements. The study personnel reviewed records only and had no interaction with the study subjects. This article is prepared from a doctoral dissertation of the corresponding author

Author Contributions

SP and MKS conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination; CP participated in the coordination, performed the statistical analysis, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript; AMM helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIND InstituteUniversity of California-DavisSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Genetics and Developmental PediatricsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public HealthUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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