Parental Perspectives on Psychiatric Comorbidity in Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorders Receiving Publicly Funded Mental Health Services

Filippo Muratori, Marco Turi, Margherita Prosperi, Antonio Narzisi, Giovanni Valeri, Silvia Guerrera, Elisa Santocchi, Fabio Apicella, Caterina Lattarulo, Sara Calderoni, Stefano Vicari

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

5 Citazioni (Scopus)


An increased prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity (PC) in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is consistently reported. While several studies have examined PC in school-aged children, adolescents and adults with ASD, investigations on PC in preschoolers are less common. In this study, we explore the prevalence and the type of PC in a sample of 989 preschoolers with ASD through the DSM-Oriented Scales (DOS) of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL 1½-5) and their possible links with the core features of ASD and cognitive functioning. Results indicated that 37.8% of the sample had at least one PC in addition to ASD; these subjects displayed significantly higher Total score (p = 0.02) and Social Affect score (p = 0.003) on the ADOS-based calibrated severity scores (CSS), as well as lower (p ≤ 0.0001) performance IQ (pIQ) compared to ASD individuals without PC. As far as the specific DOS, Affective Problems (AP) were detected in 23.4% of the whole sample, ADHD Problems (ADHD) in 17.3%, Anxiety Problems (AXP) in 16.7%, and Oppositional Problems (OP) in 7.9%. These different comorbidities were isolated in 195 subjects (Mono-comorbid group: 19.7% of the whole sample), while 179 subjects (18.1% of the whole sample) had two or more types of PC (Multi-comorbid group). One-way ANOVA revealed that subjects with multi-comorbidity have statistically significant lower pIQ and higher Total score and Social Affect score on CSS-ADOS. Specific differences for each type of comorbidity and gender differences were also discussed. Taken together, results indicate a considerable presence of PC in preschoolers with ASD that should be accurately considered during the assessment and diagnosis process in order to plan a tailored intervention based not only on core symptoms of ASD, but also on comorbid psychiatric condition since preschool age.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaFrontiers in Psychiatry
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • ADHD problems
  • affective problems
  • anxiety problems
  • child behavior checklist 1.5–5
  • multicomorbidity
  • oppositional problems
  • sleep problems
  • young children


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