Assessment of Anxiety in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

Anxiety is one of the most common presenting problems for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and causes greater impairment than the symptoms of ASD alone. Despite the increased risk for anxiety disorders in ASD, there is limited research on the assessment of anxiety in this population, relative to the large body of literature on anxiety in typically developing children. This may be due, in part, to the difficulty of assessing anxiety in ASD. Anxiety is a multifaceted construct involving behaviors, cognitions, affect, and physiological arousal. These multiple components of anxiety are ideally assessed using a multimethod approach, including questionnaires, interviews, direct behavioral observation, and occasionally physiological responses elicited by feared stimuli. This chapter will review the variety of methods that can be used to assess anxiety in youth with ASD, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each method as well as the psychometric properties and uses of various assessment tools.

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Moskowitz, L. J., Rosen, T., Lerner, M. D., & Levine, K. (2017). Assessment of Anxiety in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Anxiety in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Assessment and Treatment (pp. 79–104). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-805122-1.00005-3

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