Poverty and the Growth of Emotional and Conduct Problems in Children with Autism With and Without Comorbid ADHD

Eirini Flouri, Emily Midouhas, Tony Charman, Zahra Sarmadi
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2015, 45 (9): 2928-38
We investigated the longitudinal relationship between socio-economic disadvantage (SED) and trajectories of emotional and conduct problems among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who had comorbid attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; ASD + ADHD) or not (ASD - ADHD). The sample was 209 children with ASD who took part in the UK's Millennium Cohort Study. Trajectories of problems across ages 3, 5 and 7 years were analyzed using growth curve models. The ASD - ADHD group decreased in conduct problems over time but the ASD + ADHD group continued on a high trajectory. Although SED was not a risk factor for ASD + ADHD, it was associated with elevated emotional problems among children with ASD + ADHD. This effect of SED on emotional problems was not attenuated by parenting or peer problems.


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