Last updated on June 2020

Phenomenology of Anxiety in Preschool Children With ASD


Brief description of study

This study investigates the prevalence, phenomenology, and correlates of anxiety in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across a two-year period. Attention bias to threat, a potential objective marker of anxiety, also is examined using eye tracking methods.

Detailed Study Description

Anxiety disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are one of the most prevalent and impairing co-occurring conditions, affecting approximately 40% of the population and causing major disruptions in school and family life. Research in typically developing (TD) children suggests that anxiety usually emerges in the preschool years (3-5 years) and can result in future psychopathology. Early detection and treatment of childhood anxiety in children with ASD can lead to improved clinical outcomes.

This study assesses the prevalence and phenomenology of anxiety in preschool children with ASD utilizing an established and comprehensive measure of anxiety in children with ASD across three time points (baseline, one year post, two years post).It also investigates the association of child (e.g., ASD features) and parent (e.g., mental health, caregiver strain) characteristics with anxiety cross-sectionally and longitudinally, to determine if certain correlates predict or maintain future anxiety. Attention bias to threat stimuli and its physiological correlates are also examined as potential objective markers of anxiety using eye tracking and pupillometry methods.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT04436432

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Recruitment Status: Open


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