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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2013 Jan;41(1):165-76. doi: 10.1007/s10802-012-9668-x.

Anxiety, sensory over-responsivity, and gastrointestinal problems in children with autism spectrum disorders.

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  • 1Department of Health Psychology and Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Missouri - Columbia, 205 Portland Street, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. mazurekm@missouri.edu

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience high rates of anxiety, sensory processing problems, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems; however, the associations among these symptoms in children with ASD have not been previously examined. The current study examined bivariate and multivariate relations among anxiety, sensory over-responsivity, and chronic GI problems in a sample of 2,973 children with ASD enrolled in the Autism Treatment Network (ages 2-17 years, 81.6 % male). Twenty-four percent of the sample experienced at least one type of chronic GI problem (constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and/or nausea lasting three or more months). Children with each type of GI problem had significantly higher rates of both anxiety and sensory over-responsivity. Sensory over-responsivity and anxiety were highly associated, and each provided unique contributions to the prediction of chronic GI problems in logistic regression analyses. The results indicate that anxiety, sensory over-responsivity and GI problems are possibly interrelated phenomenon for children with ASD, and may have common underlying mechanisms.

PMID:
22850932
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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