Gender Profiles of Behavioral Attention in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

Objective: The attention profile of girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is unclear compared with boys with ASD and typical children. This study aimed to investigate parent-reported ASD and ADHD symptoms in a large sample of boys and girls with and without ASD. Method: A total of 124 normally intelligent children, half of them girls, 64 with autistic disorder or Asperger’s disorder, and 60 age- and gender-matched typically developing, aged 7 to 12 years, were recruited. Parents completed questionnaires regarding autistic and ADHD symptoms. Results: No gender differences in social difficulties but more repetitive motor movements, communication difficulties, and inattention were reported in males, regardless of group. Younger boys with ASD had more elevated levels of hyperactivity-impulsivity than younger girls with ASD. Conclusion: Gender differences in autistic symptoms and inattention in ASD reflected gender differences in typical children. More pronounced hyperactivity in younger boys with ASD could contribute to higher rates of clinical referral than girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • females
  • gender
  • girls

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