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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00535

Assessment of Psychopathological Comorbidities in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Child Behavior Checklist

 Silvia Guerrera1, Deny Menghini1,  Eleonora Napoli1, Silvia Di Vara1, Giovanni Valeri1 and  Stefano Vicari1*
  • 1Bambino Gesù Children Hospital (IRCCS), Italy

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by psychiatric and behavioral comorbidities. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) provides valid and well-established measures of emotional, behavioral, and social problems in children and adolescents.
The aim of the present study was to verify whether emotional, behavioral, and social problems were modulated by ASD symptom severity, cognitive development, gender and age by analyzing the CBCL in a large group of children and adolescents with ASD.
The results show that around 30% of participants with ASD exhibited internalizing problems and only 6% externalizing problems, with males exhibiting more internalizing problems than females. No correlation was found between CBCL scores and indices of ASD severity. However, higher CBCL Total Problem scores were found in older children and in children with lower cognitive abilities.
The detection of behavioral and emotional problems allows children with ASD to undergo specific and individualized treatment that takes into account their psychopathological problems.

Keywords: Neurodevelopmental disorders, Emotional problems, Behavioral problems, Psychiatric comorbidity, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Child Behavior Checklist

Received: 26 Jul 2018; Accepted: 10 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

David Cohen, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France

Reviewed by:

DEEPAK KUMAR, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, India
Emily L. Casanova, School of Medicine Greenville, University of South Carolina, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Guerrera, Menghini, Napoli, Di Vara, Valeri and Vicari. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Stefano Vicari, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital (IRCCS), Rome, 00165, Lazio, Italy,