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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 127853, 17 pages
Review Article

Risk Factors for Depression in Children and Adolescents with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

1Departamento de Psicología, Facultad de Educación, Universidad de Valladolid, Campus María Zambrano, Plaza Alto de los Leones 1, 40005 Segovia, Spain
2Laboratoire LPPS, EA 4057, 92100 Paris, France
3Departamento de Psicología, Facultad de Educación y Trabajo Social, Universidad de Valladolid, Campus Miguel Delibes, Paseo de Belén 1, 47011 Valladolid, Spain

Received 15 February 2015; Revised 14 April 2015; Accepted 24 May 2015

Academic Editor: Yen-Kuang Yang

Copyright © 2015 Myriam De-la-Iglesia and José-Sixto Olivar. 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.


The objective of our study was to examine, discuss, and provide proposals on diagnostic comorbidity of depression in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) in the following aspects. (1) Prevalence. It was concluded that there are an elevated depression rate and the need for longitudinal studies to determine prevalence and incidence based on functioning level, autistic symptoms, gender, age, type of depression, prognosis, duration, and treatment. (2) Explicative Hypotheses and Vulnerability. The factors that present the greatest specific risk are higher cognitive functioning, self-awareness of deficit, capacity for introspection, stressful life events, adolescence, quality of social relationships, and alexithymia. (3) Risk of Suicide. The need for control and detection of suicidal tendencies and bullying is emphasised. (4) Depressive Symptoms. Indicators for early detection are proposed and their overlap with HFASD is analysed, examining the assessment techniques used and arguing that specific adapted tests are needed.