Prevalence of anxiety disorder in children and young people with intellectual disabilities and autism

Ereny Gobrial (Based in the School of Education, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt)
Raghu Raghavan (Based in the School of Health, Community and Education, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Publication date: 11 May 2012

Abstract

Purpose

Children and young people with co‐morbid intellectual disabilities and autism are more prone to experience mental health problems compared to people with intellectual disabilities but without autism. Children and young people with intellectual disabilities and autism may experience symptoms of anxiety at a greater level than the general population; however, this is not supported with research evidence in relation to the prevalence of anxiety in people with intellectual disabilities and autism. The aim of this study is to identify the prevalence of anxiety disorders in children and young people with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 150 children and young people (age range of 5‐18 years) from a metropolitan district in the North of England were screened for anxiety using the Reiss Scales for Children's Dual Diagnosis and the Glasgow Anxiety Scale.

Findings

The results indicate that the prevalence of anxiety was 32.6 per cent for children and young people with intellectual disabilities and autism on the Glasgow Anxiety Scale. One of the important questions that arise from this study is the risk factors for the high prevalence of anxiety in children and adolescents with autism.

Originality/value

The findings highlight the prevalence of anxiety in children and young people with co‐morbid intellectual disabilities and autism. This has implications for assessment of anxiety disorders for children and young people with intellectual disabilities.

Keywords

Citation

Gobrial, E. and Raghavan, R. (2012), "Prevalence of anxiety disorder in children and young people with intellectual disabilities and autism", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 130-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441281211227193

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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