Anxiety disorders in typically developing youth: autism spectrum symptoms as a predictor of cognitive-behavioral treatment

J Autism Dev Disord. 2011 Mar;41(3):275-86. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-1047-2.


Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were assessed (Social Responsiveness Scale-Parent (SRS-P); coded in-session behavior) in typically-developing, anxiety-disordered children (N = 50) treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Study 1: children with moderate autistic symptomology (per SRS-P) were significantly more likely to improve from family CBT (FCBT) than individual CBT (ICBT; OR = 8.67). Coded behavior did not predict outcome. Study 2: CBT components were compared by treatment and ASD symptom status. At-home exposure completion was greater in FCBT and there was an interaction in child involvement for treatment and ASD status. Though both treatments reduced anxiety, FCBT outperformed ICBT for children with moderate ASD symptoms, a benefit potentially linked to more at-home exposures and greater child involvement in FCBT.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome