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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Anxiety disorders are relatively common in children and adults in the general population. Available evidence suggests that youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at elevated risk for anxiety disorders. Moreover, some behavioral manifestations of ASD may overlap and confound the measurement of anxiety in youth and adults with ASD. There is no reason to expect, however, that the emotional and physiological state that defines anxiety would be different in youth or adults with ASD than in youth or adults in the general population. This chapter focuses on common anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, the phenomenology of fear and anxiety, and the challenges of measuring anxiety in youth with ASD. The chapter reviews the traditional fear circuitry and an emerging model that may have a profound impact on our understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders in youth. It summarizes a line of research on improving the measurement of anxiety in youth with ASD. Finally, it provides an update on empirically supported treatments for anxiety in this population.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, outcome measurement, traditional fear circuitry, emerging model

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