Co-occurring psychiatric conditions in autism spectrum disorder

Tamara E. Rosen, Carla A. Mazefsky, Roma A Vasa, Matthew D. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at increased risk for experiencing one or more co-occurring psychiatric conditions. When present, these conditions are associated with additional impairment and distress. It is therefore crucial that clinicians and researchers adequately understand and address these challenges. However, due to symptom overlap, diagnostic overshadowing, and ambiguous symptom presentation in ASD, the assessment of co-occurring conditions in ASD is complex and challenging. Likewise, individual difference factors, such as age, intellectual functioning, and gender, may influence the presentation of co-occurring symptoms. Relatedly. transdiagnostic framework may offer utility in assessing and treating co-occurring conditions. However, with the exception of anxiety disorders, treatment research for co-occurring psychiatric conditions in ASD is relatively limited. Therefore, the present paper aims to summarize and review available research on the most common co-occurring psychiatric disorders in ASD, wit. focus on estimated population-based prevalence rates, diagnostic challenges, the influence of individual differences, and assessment guidelines. The utility o. transdiagnostic framework for conceptualizing co-occurring disorders in ASD is discussed, and the state of treatment research for co-occurring disorders is summarized. This study concludes wit. summary of the extant literature, as well as recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-61
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • assessment
  • Autism
  • co-occurring
  • comorbidity
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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