Examining the Relationship Between Gender, Age, Anxiety and Aggression in Children with ASD Using the Child Behavior Checklist
Methods: A sample of 843 children (69.5% male) with an ASD diagnosis who also met research criteria for ASD were examined. Participants’ ages ranged from 22 months to 226 months (Mean= 102.5, SD= 43.8). CBCLs were examined with focus on Aggressive Behavior totals and Anxious/Depressed totals. Correlations between age and anxiety, age and aggression, gender and anxiety, gender and aggression, and aggression and anxiety were examined using Pearson Correlation in SPSS.
Results: Pearson Correlations were run using SPSS and measured relationships between age and anxiety, age and aggression, gender and anxiety, gender and aggression, and aggression and anxiety. Preliminary analyses indicated that there was no significant relationship between gender and anxiety (r=-.025, p-value=.474) or gender and aggression (r=-.067, p-value=.053). However, there was a positive, significant correlation between anxiety and age (r=.230, p-value≤.000) and between anxiety and aggression (r=.365, p-value≤.000). Analyses also suggested a significant negative correlation between age and aggression (r=-.318, p-value≤.000).
Conclusions: Results suggest that a strong, positive relationship between anxiety and age as well as between anxiety and aggression exists, while a strong negative relationship exists between age and aggression. Future research is needed to explore and further confirm these findings. Longitudinal data should also be examined to explore correlations within an individual’s lifespan. Further research could also examine the relationship between rates of aggression and anxiety in children receiving appropriate therapies.