Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 2752–2756 | Cite as

DSM-IV Versus DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder in Childhood: Similarities and Differences

  • Francisca J. A. van Steensel
  • Susan M. Bögels
  • Esther I. de Bruin
Original Paper


Within the light of the DSM-5, the current study examined (1) how many and which children with a DSM-IV classification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) fulfill the DSM-5 symptom-criteria, and (2) whether children who did and did not meet DSM-5 symptom-criteria and children with social anxiety disorder (SAD) can be differentiated from each other based on ASD symptomatology. In total, 90 referred children with a DSM-IV classification of high-functioning ASD, and 21 referred children with SAD participated (age range 7–17 years). ASD-symptoms were examined with the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and the Children’s Social Behavior Questionnaire. It was found that 30 % of the ASD sample did not meet DSM-5 symptom-criteria for ASD, mainly because they failed to meet the DSM-5 criteria of the repetitive domain. Children with ASD who did and did not meet DSM-5 symptom-criteria differed on the repetitive domain, while children with ASD (according to DSM-IV and DSM-5 symptom criteria) had higher scores on the social-communication domain than children with SAD. Findings suggest a continuum of ASD-symptoms in the DSM-5 for children with SAD, social communication disorder and ASD. More research is needed to examine how these three disorders differ with respect to their etiology, neuropsychological profiles and clinical characteristics.


DSM-5 DSM-IV Autism spectrum disorder Social communication disorder Social anxiety disorder 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisca J. A. van Steensel
    • 1
  • Susan M. Bögels
    • 1
  • Esther I. de Bruin
    • 1
  1. 1.Child Development and Education, Research Priority Area YieldUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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