Concerns expressed by parents of children with pervasive developmental disorders for different time periods of the day: a case-control study

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 21;10(4):e0124692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124692. eCollection 2015.


Background/aim: The Questionnaire: Children with Difficulties (QCD) is a parent-assessed questionnaire designed to evaluate child's difficulties in functioning during specific periods of the day. This study aimed to evaluate difficulties in daily functioning of children and adolescents with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) using the QCD. Results were compared with those for a community sample.

Methods: A case-control design was used. The cases comprised elementary school students (182 males, 51 females) and junior high school students (100 males, 39 females) with PDD, whereas a community sample of elementary school students (568 males, 579 females) and junior high school students (180 males, 183 females) was enrolled as controls. Their behavior was assessed using the QCD, the Tokyo Autistic Behavior Scale (TABS), the ADHD-rating scale (ADHD-RS), and the Oppositional Defiant Behavior Inventory (ODBI) for elementary and junior high school students, respectively. Effects of gender and diagnosis on the QCD scores were analyzed. Correlation coefficients between QCD and TABS, ADHD-RS, and ODBI scores were analyzed.

Results: The QCD scores for the children with PDD were significantly lower compared with those from the community sample (P < 0.001). Significantly strong correlations were observed in more areas of the ADHD-RS and ODBI scores compared with the TABS scores.

Conclusions: Children with PDD experienced greater difficulties in completing basic daily activities; moreover, their QCD scores revealed stronger associations with their ADHD-RS and ODBI scores in comparison with their TABS scores. The difficulties of PDD, ADHD and OBDI symptoms combined in children makes it necessary to assess all diagnoses before any therapy for PDD is initiated in order to be able to evaluate its results properly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Photoperiod
  • Research Design
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grant support

The authors have no current funding sources for this study.