The etiology of autism is complex, consisting of unknown genetic and environmental factors. Previous studies have revealed that maternal age is increased in autism compared to controls, making it a possible risk factor. This study examined the effects of maternal age on autism severity using IQ as a measure of cognitive severity and selected subtests of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) as measures of social severity. A sample of 154 subjects with autism spectrum disorders was obtained from the Stanford Neuropsychiatry/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) clinic. Results indicate that there is no relationship between IQ or selected CBCL subtests and maternal age, suggesting that maternal age does not influence the severity of autism as measured by these indicators.
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