Examination and validation of a measure of anxiety specific to children with autism spectrum disorders

Robert D. Rieske, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA. rrieske@hotmail.com
Johnny L. Matson
Thompson E. Davis
Matthew J. Konst
Lindsey W. Williams
Sara E. Whiting


OBJECTIVE: Investigated the use of a combined scale (Worry/Depressed and Avoidant scales) from the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Comorbidity for Children (ASD-CC) as a measure of anxiety. Alternative methods of measuring anxiety were examined using the ASD-CC in an ASD population. METHODS: Participants included 147 children, age 2-16 years, evincing a mixture of behavior problems. Comparisons between scores on the ASD-CC and Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) were examined to determine the most efficacious method of measuring anxiety and to establish convergent and discriminant validity. RESULTS: The worry/depressed subscale was the most effective subscale of the ASD-CC to measure anxiety with proven incremental validity over the combined scale. CONCLUSION: The worry/depressed subscale is the best measure of anxiety utilizing the ASD-CC in children with an ASD. Additionally, convergent and discriminant validity was demonstrated by comparing the scale with similar and dissimilar scales of the BASC-2.