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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 315495, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/315495
Research Article

Parent-Child Agreement Using the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale and a Thermometer in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

1Deakin Child Study Centre, Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
2School of Psychological Sciences and Monash Institute for Brain Development & Repair, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Building 17, Wellington Road, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
3Deakin Child Study Centre, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia

Received 28 September 2014; Revised 21 January 2015; Accepted 16 March 2015

Academic Editor: Michael G. Aman

Copyright © 2015 T. May et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience high anxiety which often prompts clinical referral and requires intervention. This study aimed to compare parent and child reports on the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and a child-reported “worry thermometer” in 88 children aged 8–13 years, 44 with ASD and 44 age, gender, and perceptual IQ matched typically developing children. There were no gender differences in child report on the SCAS and worry thermometers. Results indicated generally good correlations between parent and child self-reported SCAS symptoms for typically developing children but poor agreement in parent-child ASD dyads. The worry thermometer child-report did not reflect child or parent reports on the SCAS. Findings suggest 8–13-year-old children with ASD may have difficulties accurately reporting their anxiety levels. The clinical implications were discussed.