An examination of the relationship between autism spectrum disorder, intellectual functioning, and comorbid symptoms in children

Kim Tureck, Louisiana State University, USA. Electronic address:
Johnny L. Matson, Louisiana State University, USA.
Paige Cervantes, Louisiana State University, USA.
Matthew J. Konst, Louisiana State University, USA.


There is a deficiency of research looking at how rates of comorbid psychopathology are effected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual functioning level. The present study aimed to extend the literature in this area by evaluating how ASD and IQ scores are related to ratings on a measure of comorbid symptoms. Twenty-three children with ASD and 87 children without ASD participated in this study. Rates of tantrum behavior, avoidant behavior, worry/depressed, repetitive behavior, under-eating, over-eating, and conduct behavior were examined utilizing the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Comorbidity for Children (ASD-CC). Correlational and multiple regression analyses were then conducted. ASD diagnosis significantly predicted rates of tantrum behavior, avoidant behavior, and repetitive behavior. Children with ASD tended to have higher rates of all three of these comorbid symptoms than children without ASD. Although not statistically significant, there was a negative correlation between IQ and rates of comorbid symptoms, such that children with higher IQ scores tended to have lower rates of comorbid symptoms. The implications of these findings on assessment and intervention are discussed.