Patterns of internalized and externalized behaviors on the BASC-2 PRS in high functioning children with autism
Flom, Megan Nicole
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With approximately 300,000 school-aged children in the United States currently diagnosed with autism and a reported 800°/o increase in diagnostic rates since 1993, there is a clear duty for researchers to further examine autism and its related disorders. This research study was conducted with 45 higher functioning children (8-18 years old) with previous diagnoses of the following Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Asperger Disorder (AS), High Functioning Autism (HF A), or Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Specifically, scores on the internalized and externalized behavior scales on the Behavior Rating Scales for Children- Second Edition (BASC-2) Parent Rating Scale (PRS) were analyzed and then compared with three variables of functionality- age, I.Q., and social skills. The data used on the BASC-2 PRS include the following scales: Internalizing Problems, Anxiety, Depression, Somatization, Externalizing Problems, Hyperactivity, Aggression, Conduct Problems, and Social Skills. Results indicated a positive correlation between age and somatization and also a negative correlation between social skills and externalized behaviors. The data also revealed that the majority of the children in this study experienced above average (at risk and clinically significant combined) levels of depression (64.5%) and hyperactivity (73.4%). Although fewer children experienced the other behaviors- anxiety (40%), somatization (28 .9%), aggression (37.7%) and conduct problems (28.9%)- they can be helpful in painting a more accurate picture of children with ASD and how they function in the world.