The Phenomenology and Clinical Correlates of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Department of Pediatrics, Rothman Center for Neuropsychiatry, University of South Florida
This study investigated the phenomenology and clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in youth with ASD (N = 102; range 7-16 years).
The presence of suicidal thoughts and behavior was assessed through the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule-Child and Parent Versions. Children and parents completed measures of anxiety severity, functional impairment, and behavioral and emotional problems.
Approximately 11 % of youth displayed suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Children with autism were more likely to have suicidal thoughts and behaviors whereas children with Asperger’s disorder were less likely. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors were associated with the presence of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Overall, results suggest that suicidal thoughts and behaviors are common in youth with ASD, and may be related to depression and trauma.