Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2013

Thesis Advisor(s)

Marianne Barton

Honors Major



Developmental Psychology | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry and Psychology


Research indicates a complicated relationship between anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The current study examined the relationship between anxiety symptoms and ASD in 30 Optimal Outcome (OO) individuals, 33 High Functioning Autism (HFA) individuals, and 34 Typically Developing (TD) individuals. The groups were compared on the K-SADS measure of anxiety symptoms. The HFA group presented greater anxiety than both the OO and TD groups, and the OO and TD groups only differed on one anxiety symptom. Across all three groups, there was a significant association between greater anxiety symptoms and a higher level of social and communicative impairment. Taken together, these results suggest some relationship between severity of ASD and level of anxiety.