Autism symptoms and internalizing psychopathology in girls and boys with autism spectrum disorders

J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Jan;42(1):48-59. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1215-z.


Findings regarding phenotypic differences between boys and girls with ASD are mixed. We compared autism and internalizing symptoms in a sample of 8-18 year-old girls (n = 20) and boys (n = 20) with ASD and typically developing (TYP) girls (n = 19) and boys (n = 17). Girls with ASD were more impaired than TYP girls but did not differ from boys with ASD in autism symptoms. In adolescence, girls with ASD had higher internalizing symptoms than boys with ASD and TYP girls, and higher symptoms of depression than TYP girls. Girls ages 8-18 with ASD resemble boys with ASD and not TYP girls, and appear to be at increased risk for affective symptoms in the teen years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / complications*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / complications*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors