Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There is strong evidence to suggest that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at heightened risk for developing co-occurring psychiatric conditions. However, the reasons behind this increased risk remain unclear. This chapter describes multiple conceptual models of the reasons for comorbidity and appraises the strength for each in relation to currently available evidence. The first section considers the evidence to suggest the reported increase in prevalence can be explained by purely artefactual factors (e.g., issues in sample acquisition or symptom measurement) and concludes this is unlikely as a complete explanation. The second section discusses more theoretical models, and how these could manifest in autistic individuals (e.g., increased prevalence or potency of established risk factors, and the role of ASD-specific risk factors). There is evidence to support multiple mechanisms playing a role in explaining the increased prevalence of psychiatric conditions, and these mechanisms are unlikely to be mutually exclusive. As the current literature is limited, priority areas for future research are suggested, including the need for accurate measurement of predictors and outcomes, more sensitive research designs, and the inclusion of underrepresented groups.

Keywords: autism, comorbidity, mental health problems, epidemiology, risk factors

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.