Autistic youth often present with comorbid anxiety and depression yet there is a dearth of validated assessment tools. The Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) assesses internalizing symptoms but there is little psychometric data in autistic youth. Treatment-seeking autistic youth with anxiety or obsessive-compulsive symptoms (N = 74; age 6–14 years), and caregivers, were administered the RCADS-Parent, RCADS-Child, and assessments of internalizing, externalizing symptoms and social impairment indicative of autism. RCADS-Parent and RCADS-Child total anxiety scores demonstrated excellent internal consistency, and the six subscales demonstrated acceptable-to-good internal consistency. The RCADS-Child and Parent total anxiety scores were weakly correlated, and neither child age nor gender altered the strength of this association. Convergent validity was supported by moderate-to-strong correlations with clinician and parent-reported anxiety symptoms. Support for divergent validity was mixed. Results provide support for the RCADS-Parent and RCADS-Child as reliable, valid measures of internalizing symptoms in autistic youth.
Khalfe, N., Goetz, A. R., Trent, E. S., Guzick, A. G., Smarason, O., Kook, M., ... & Storch, E. A. (2023). Psychometric properties of the revised children’s anxiety and depression scale (RCADS) for autistic youth without co-occurring intellectual disability. Journal of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, 100017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xjmad.2023.100017
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Journal of Mood and Anxiety Disorders