School of Psychology (Scholarly Articles)

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  • Publication
    Relationship between gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder and parent stress, anxiety, depression, quality of life and social support
    (Springer, 2023-09-01) Mannion, Arlene; Leader, Geraldine; Horizon 2020
    Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a common comorbidity in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Little is known about the impact that GI symptoms have on parental well-being. Parents of 409 children and adolescents with ASD completed the GI Symptoms Inventory, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated Version, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. High levels of stress were demonstrated by parents with 40.1% receiving clinically significant scores. A relationship was found between parental stress and GI symptoms. Parental anxiety and depression were found at high levels but were not more common in parents of individuals with GI symptoms than those without. Lower levels of quality of life were found in parents of individuals with GI symptoms compared to parents of individuals without GI symptoms. Parents of children with GI symptoms were less satisfied with their personal and social relationships with others. Parents of children with GI symptoms had lower scores on a measure of perceived social support than parents of children and adolescents without GI symptoms. GI symptoms are stressful for parents and future research is needed to determine how to alleviate this stress and to improve the quality of life of parents of individuals with ASD.
  • Publication
    Relationship between child sleep problems in autism spectrum disorder and parent mental health and well-being
    (Elsevier, 2023-06-26) Mannion, Arlene; Leader, Geraldine
    Sleep problems are a common comorbidity in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of this study is to determine how sleep problems affect not only the child with ASD, but parents also. Parents of 409 children and adolescents with ASD completed the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated Version (WHOQOL-BREF), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. The majority (86.6%) of parents presented with poor sleep. The majority (95.3%; n = 387) of children presented with sleep problems, while 4.7% (n = 22) did not have sleep problems. A cross-sectional within-subjects research design was utilised, with the following analyses conducted: Pearson correlations, chi-square tests, t-tests, and MANOVAs. Relationships were found between child sleep problems and parent sleep problems, specifically child parasomnias, sleep duration, night wakings, and sleep onset delay. Parents of children with sleep problems experienced more parenting stress, specifically on the Difficult Child and Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction subscales of the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. Parents of children and adolescents with sleep problems had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than parents of children and adolescents who did not have sleep problems. A relationship between sleep problems and lower quality of life was found. Parents of children with sleep problems received significantly lower scores on the WHOQOL-BREF domains of Physical Health, Psychological and Environment than parents of children without sleep problems. There was no significant difference found between parents of children with or without sleep problems on perceived social support. The current study demonstrated how child sleep affects parental well-being. While sleep problems are one comorbid condition in ASD, future research is needed to determine the impact of other comorbidities in parents of children and adolescents with ASD.
  • Publication
    Adaptive living skills, sleep problems, and mental health problems in adults with 22q11.21 deletion syndrome
    (Elsevier, 2023-03-23) Leader, Geraldine; Curtin, Andrea; Shprintzen, Robert J.; Whelan, Sally; Coyne, Rory; Mannion, Arlene
    Background 22q11.21 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a neurodevelopmental syndrome caused by a microdeletion of genes at the 22q11.21 locus. It has a prevalence of 1:2000. This study investigated the prevalence of adaptive living skills, sleep problems, and mental health disorders in adults with 22q11DS and examined the relationship between these factors. Methods Parents with an adult son or daughter with 22q11DS completed the following: A bespoke Demographic Information Questionnaire, Sleep Questionnaire (SQ-SP), Psychopathology in Autism Checklist (PAC), and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scale. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and one-way between groups analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted. Results Mental health difficulties, sleep problems, and low levels of adaptive living skills are prevalent in adults with 22q11DS. Strong positive correlations were identified between sleep problems, depression, and anxiety subscale scores and moderate negative correlations between depression, psychosis, and activities of daily living skills. Conclusion Adults with 22q11DS need screening and treatment for mental health and sleep problems.
  • Publication
    Work readiness curriculum: How to support young adults with intellectual disabilities in the transition from school to work
    (Vannini Editoria Scientifica Srl, 2022-12) Traina, Ivan; Mannion, Arlene; Leader, Geraldine
    Ad oggi, la ricerca sulla disabilità intellettiva si è concentrata principalmente sull’infanzia e sugli interventi precoci piuttosto che sul passaggio dalla scuola al lavoro. Il curriculum di preparazione al lavoro descritto in questo articolo è stato progettato, implementato e sperimentato per supportare giovani adulti con disabilità intellettiva ad acquisire abilità socio-comunicative, di vita indipendente e di lavoro. La metodologia adottata per lo sviluppo del curriculum si è basata sull’Analisi Applicata del Comportamento, ed è stato erogato in concomitanza con tirocini individualizzati. Sono state e!ettuate valutazioni standardizzate pre e post-intervento per dimostrare l’e!ettiva acquisizione di abilità e il miglioramento della qualità di vita. I risultati di questa ricerca evidenziano l’e"cacia e la replicabilità del curriculum, che può essere utilizzato per progettare interventi di formazione volti a trasferire competenze per la vita adulta e l’inclusione lavorativa.
  • Publication
    Affective problems, gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep problems, and challenging behaviour in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
    (Elsevier, 2022-02-03) Leader, Geraldine; Browne, Hannah; Whelan, Sally; Cummins, Hannah; Mannion, Arlene
    Background People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can experience affective problems, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, sleep problems, and challenging behaviour. This study identified the frequency of affective problems and explored how they related to co-occurring conditions in children and adolescents with ASD. Method Participants were children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD using DSM-IV-TR criteria (n = 95), 40 % (n = 38) of whom also had a diagnosis of intellectual disability (ID). The following scales were completed by the participants’ parents or guardians: Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), Gastrointestinal Symptoms Inventory, Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), and the Behaviour Problems Inventory-Short Form (BPI-S). Pearson’s correlations and independent sample t-tests were used to examine the relationships between variables. Two hierarchal multiple regressions examined predictors for affective problems in preschool and school-aged children with ASD. Results Participants scored in the clinical range (69.5 %) and borderline range (10.5 %) for affective problems. Significant positive relationships were found between affective problems and sleep problems, GI symptoms, and challenging behaviour. ID and gender predicted affective problems in preschool aged children. In school-aged children, affective problems were predicted by ID, sleep problems, and aggressive/destructive behaviour severity. However, only 25 % of the variance in affective problems was accounted for. Conclusions Future research is needed to understand how affective problems are impacted by co-occurring conditions in children and adolescents with ASD. Affective problems are prevalent in this population and the quality of life for individuals may be improved if practitioners consider co-occurring conditions during clinical practice.
  • Publication
    Relationships between gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep problems, and internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and adolescents with Angelman Syndrome.
    (Elsevier, 2022-07-04) Leader, Geraldine; Gilligan, Rebecca; Whelan, Sally; Coyne, Rory; Caher, Aoife; White, Keeley; Traina, Ivan; Muchenje, Shellita; Machaka, Rudo L.; Mannion, Arlene
    Background Angelman syndrome (AS), is a rare genetic disorder. This study investigated the relationship between parent-reported comorbid symptoms including gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep problems, internalizing symptoms, and behavior problems in children and adolescents with AS. Method Parents of 98 children and adolescents with AS completed the Gastrointestinal Symptom Inventory, Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Child Behavior Checklist, Social Communication Questionnaire, and the Behavior Problem Inventory-Short Form. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and hierarchical multiple regressions. Results There was a high frequency of GI symptoms (99%), sleep problems (95.9%), challenging behavior (98%), internalizing symptoms (38%), and 72.4% of children and adolescents presented with ASD symptoms. Self-injurious behavior (SIB), aggressive/destructive behavior, and the frequency of stereotyped behavior positively correlated with GI symptoms and sleep problems and it was moderately negatively associated with age. Internalizing symptoms and age were positively associated with SIB. Aggression was significantly related to gender, but not the presence of ASD symptoms. Conclusions Findings highlight the relationships between comorbid conditions. They may lead to a deeper understanding of how comorbidities present in children and adolescents with Angelman Syndrome.
  • Publication
    Examining the relationship between sleep quality, social functioning, and behavior problems in children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review
    (Taylor and Francis Group and Dove Press, 2022-04-14) Whelan, Sally; Mannion, Arlene; Madden, Azeem; Berger, Fine; Costello, Rachel; Ghadiri, Saeid; Leader, Geraldine
    Over forty percent of autistic children experience poor sleep quality, and social interaction difficulties are a core characteristic of autism. However, the relationship between sleep quality and social functioning and behavior remains poorly understood. This systematic review examined the evidence concerning the impact of sleep quality on the social functioning and behavior problems in autistic children and adolescents. It also identified key related factors and evaluated how this issue has been researched to date. Seven key journals were hand-searched and five databases were systematically searched, using keywords. Titles and abstracts of 4123 items were screened against eligibility criteria by two researchers. Relevant studies were retained if they were peer-reviewed empirical papers, published in English between 2000 and 2021. Then, the full text of 97 papers was screened and if they met the eligibility criteria, their reference lists were hand-searched. Forty-six studies were included in the final review. Data were systematically extracted and two authors critically appraised the strengths and weaknesses of studies using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tools. Key themes were identified, because a meta-analysis was not possible due to the studies’ heterogeneity. The review identified that sleep quality and social functioning are associated with one another and there is a small amount of evidence that a bi-directional causal relationship may exist. Evidence suggests that several nights of suboptimal sleep duration and a lack of deep continuous sleep negatively impact externalizing and internalizing behavior. Sleep quality is also reduced by anxiety and sensory sensitivity. However, longitudinal studies with larger samples are needed to establish causality. Future research needs to examine confounding factors and to develop consensus regarding best-practice processes for the objective measurement of sleep with autistic children. Additional research also needs to further examine the consequences of poor sleep quality on internalizing behavior, and the impact of socio-cultural practices.
  • Publication
    The co-occurrence of autism spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy and associated comorbid conditions in children and adolescents
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-16) Leader, Geraldine; Mooney, Aisling; Chen, June L.; Whelan, Sally; Naughton, Katie; Maher, Leanne; Mannion, Arlene
    Background Comorbidity is the co-occurrence of two or more disorders in the same person. Aim This study investigated the frequency of comorbid conditions, in children and adolescents, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy (CP), and a comorbid diagnosis of ASD and CP. Method Ninety-six children and adolescents with ASD, CP, and both ASD and CP aged between 4 and 18 years participated in this study. Parents completed the Gastrointestinal Symptom Inventory, Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Child Behavior Checklist, Social Communication Questionnaire, and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Results Results of ANOVA analyses revealed significant group differences in sleep problems, social communication difficulties, and adaptive behavior. Regression analysis found that the presence of an intellectual disability significantly predicted levels of adaptive behavior. Conclusion This research demonstrated the importance of studying comorbidities in children and adolescents with CP alone, ASD alone, and combined ASD and CP.
  • Publication
    Adaptation of parents raising a child with ASD: The role of positive perceptions, coping, self-efficacy, and social support
    (Springer, 2022-05-04) Higgins, Louise; Mannion, Arlene; Chen, June L.; Leader, Geraldine
    This study explored the adaptation of parents raising a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) specifically the contributory role of positive perceptions, coping, self-efficacy, and social support. One hundred and thirty-six parents of children with a diagnosis of ASD completed a battery of self-report questionnaires via an online survey. Using multiple regression analyses positive perceptions, adaptive coping, self-efficacy, and social support were each a significant contributor to one or more positive adaptation outcomes. Multiple moderated regression analysis found no evidence that these factors were significant moderators between behavioural problems and parental adaptation. The implications of these findings in supporting parents raising a child with ASD are outlined.
  • Publication
    Gastrointestinal symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A systematic review
    (MDPI, 2022-04-01) Leader, Geraldine; Abberton, Cathal; Cunningham, Stephen; Gilmartin, Katie; Grudzien, Margo; Higgins, Emily; Joshi, Lokesh; Whelan, Sally; Mannion, Arlene
    This systematic review aims to offer an updated understanding of the relationship between gastrointestinal symptoms (GIS) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children and adolescents. The databases PsycINFO, Medline, Cinahl, and ERIC were searched using keywords, and relevant literature was hand-searched. Papers (n = 3319) were systematically screened and deemed eligible if they were empirical studies published in English since 2014 and measured the GIS of individuals with ASD who were under 18 years old. Thirty studies were included in the final review. The study findings were synthesized under eight themes, including the prevalence and nature of GIS and their relationship with developmental regression, language and communication, ASD severity, challenging behavior, comorbid psychopathology, sleep problems, and sensory issues. The review found that GIS were common and that there was contradictory evidence concerning their relationship with co-occurring conditions. It also identified evidence of some causal relationships that support the existence of the gut–immune–brain pathways. Future research needs to use large prospective designs and objective and standardized GIS measurements to provide a nuanced understanding of GIS in the context of ASD.
  • Publication
    Health status of adults with autism spectrum disorder
    (Springer, 2021-05-18) Forde, Jennifer; Molina Bonilla, Paola; Mannion, Arlene; Coyne, Rory; Haverty, Ross; Leader, Geraldine
    Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a higher probability of developing co-occurring mental or physical health conditions. However, little is known about how these health conditions develop and impact the lives of the adult ASD population. This paper reviewed existing studies concerning factors affecting the health status of adults with ASD and described their outcomes and prevalence. A systematic search of electronic databases yielded 21 studies eligible to be included. The most common physical problems affecting health were epilepsy and immune, gastrointestinal, and sleep disorders. Mental health disorders, most prominently mood and anxiety disorders and OCD, were also strong factors for determining health in adults. Future research should focus on measuring the overall health status of the adult ASD population.
  • Publication
    Association between early and current gastrointestinal symptoms and comorbidities in children and adolescents with Angelman syndrome
    (Wiley, 2022-09-02) Leader, Geraldine; Whelan, Sally; Ni Chonaill, Niamh; Coyne, Rory; Tones, Megan; Heussler, Honey; Bellgard, Matthew; Mannion, Arlene
    Background Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic disorder that causes severe intellectual disability, expressive language deficits, motor impairment, ataxia, sleep problems, epileptic seizures and a happy disposition. People with AS frequently experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Method This study used data from the Global Angelman Syndrome Registry to explore the relationship between early and current GI symptoms and co-morbidity in children and adolescents with AS (n = 173). Two groups that experienced a high (n = 91) and a low (n = 82) frequency of GI symptoms were examined in relation to feeding and GI history in infancy, sleep and toileting problems, levels of language and communication and challenging behaviours. Predictors of GI symptoms were then investigated using a series of logistic regressions. Results This analysis found that constipation and gastroesophageal reflux affected 84% and 64%, of the sample, respectively. The high frequency of GI symptoms were significantly associated with: ‘refusal to nurse’, ‘vomiting’, ‘arching’, ‘difficulty gaining weight’, gastroesophageal reflux, ‘solid food transition’, frequency of night-time urinary continence and sleep hyperhidrosis during infancy. GI symptoms were not significantly associated with sleep, toileting, language or challenging behaviours. Significant predictors of high frequency GI symptoms were gastroesophageal reflux and sleep hyperhidrosis. Conclusions Future research needs to investigate the association between AS and GI co-morbidity in adults with AS.
  • Publication
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep problems, challenging behavior, adaptive behavior, and quality of life in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-08-08) Leader, Geraldine; Dooley, Emma; Whelan, Sally; Gilroy, Shawn P.; Chen, June L.; Farren Barton, Autumn; Coyne, Rory; Mannion, Arlene
    This study investigated the relationship between sleep, gastrointestinal symptoms, challenging behavior, adaptive behavior, and quality of life between children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) symptoms. Parents of 118 children and adolescents with ASD completed the Conners Early Childhood Rating Scale–Parent Short Form or the Conners 3–Parent Short Form, Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Gastrointestinal Symptom Inventory, Behavior Problems Inventory–Short Form, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition. The ASD group and the ASD with AD/HD groups differed significantly in sleep problems, gastrointestinal symptoms, and quality of life. Regressions indicated that AD/HD symptoms accounted for a small proportion of the variance for the differences in sleep problems and quality of life. AD/HD symptoms contribute to the complex needs of individuals with ASD. Research is necessary to investigate how these symptoms exacerbate comorbidities.
  • Publication
    Transition program from school to employment in youths with intellectual disability: Evaluation of the Irish pilot study E-IDEAS
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-06-29) Traina, Ivan; Mannion, Arlene; Leader, Geraldine; Seventh Framework Programme
    Aim: The purpose of this pilot was to evaluate the effectiveness of the E-IDEAS curriculum, specifically designed for workplace inclusion of youths with intellectual disabilities (ID) and aimed to transfer social, communication, independent living and employment skills.Method: The curriculum was attended by 5 participants, and it was provided concurrently with five different work-placements across a period of six months. Two assessment tools were used to demonstrate the acquisition of such skills and an evidence-base improvement of their quality of life. Pre and post-intervention standardized assessments were also taken for measuring the improvement in quality of life (through the San Martín Scale) and adaptive behavior (through the Vineland-II Adaptive Behavior Scale).Results: The data collected showed increases in the acquisition of such skills. Evidence of maintenance and generalization were also demonstrated.Conclusion: Implications for practice and further research are discussed.
  • Publication
    Gaming disorder in adults with autism spectrum disorder
    (Springer, 2021-06-28) Murray, Alayna; Mannion, Arlene; Chen, June L.; Leader, Geraldine
    Gaming disorder (GD) is a clinical addiction to video or internet games. This study investigated whether GD symptoms are heightened in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in comparison to a control group, and explored predictors of GD in 230 adults with ASD and 272 controls. The relationship between GD and gelotophobia was examined. Measures included the Ten-Item Internet Gaming Disorder Test, GELOPH¿, Autism Spectrum Quotient-10 items, Inventory of Parent and Peer attachment, Emotional Regulation Questionnaire, Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ) and the NEO-FFI-3. Individuals in the ASD group showed significantly higher symptoms of GD. Peer-attachment, emotional regulation and extraversion significantly predicted GD scores. Gelotophobia and GD were related to each other with a small effect size.
  • Publication
    Implementing Aistear – the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework across varied settings: Experiences of early years educators and infant primary school teachers in the Irish context
    (Routledge, 2021-06-17) Woods, Adell; Mannion, Arlene; Garrity, Sheila
    Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework, was launched in Ireland in 2009. The framework is applicable in all settings where children in the 0-6-year range are present; this includes all early years settings and the first two years of primary schools, referred to as “infant classes” in the Irish context. This article shares the findings of a local research project which sought to explore the implementation of “Aistear”, by Early Years Educators (EYEs) and Primary School Teachers (PSTs) in pre-schools and infant classes. This research, based on a qualitative case-study design, was primarily focused on those educators working with children who are between three and six years of age and was based in the North East region of Ireland. The study examined the implementation of Aistear and how educators adapted their existing curriculum and daily routine. Thirteen educators participated, including six EYEs and seven PSTs. The collected data was thematically analysed with the emerging story captured through five key themes: Emergent Curriculum, Social Development, Communication, Holistic Development, and Implementation of Aistear. Overall, the benefits for children’s social interactions, language development and cognitive development through play in a child-led environment were discussed by participants. However, training, ratios and resources were a concern and a requirement for EYEs and PSTs. The recommendations from this study indicates that further research into the implementation of Aistear on a national scale would offer greater insight into the adaptation of the curriculum framework within pre-schools and infant classes in primary schools.
  • Publication
    Comorbid psychopathology, challenging behavior, sensory issues, adaptive behavior and quality of life in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-03-12) Leader, Geraldine; Flynn, Christopher; O'Rourke, Nathan; Coyne, Rory; Caher, Aoife; Mannion, Arlene
    Aim: Comorbid psychopathology refers to having a diagnosis of two or more co-occurring psychological disorders. The current study investigated the differences between children and adolescents with no-mild, moderate and severe comorbid psychopathology in children and adolescents with ASD.Method: Parents of 133 children completed the Autism Spectrum Disorder-Comorbid for Children, Behavior Problems Inventory-Short Form, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Social Communication Questionnaire, Short Sensory Profile, and Behavioral/Educational Interventions and Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) Interventions of the Autism Treatment Network Registry Parent Baseline Assessment.Results: A significant difference was found between severity of comorbid psychopathology and all types of challenging behavior and all sensory issues except movement. A small effect size was also found between comorbid psychopathology and quality of life.Conclusion: The findings from this study show significant difficulties associated with those with comorbid psychopathology in ASD in challenging behavior, sensory issues and quality of life.
  • Publication
    Relationship between comorbid psychopathology in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and parental well-being
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-05-15) Lanyi, Julia; Mannion, Arlene; Chen, June L.; Leader, Geraldine
    Aim: Frequency and relationship between child comorbid psychopathology and parental stress, quality of life (QoL), anxiety, depression, and social support were examined in parents of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Method: Parents of 152 children and adolescents with ASD completed the Autism Spectrum Disorder-Comorbid for Children, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated Version, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Results: A series of one-way multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to examine the relationship between child comorbid psychopathology and parental well-being. A relationship was found between parental QoL, depression and anxiety and child comorbid psychopathology. Results showed a relationship between parental stress and the severity of child conduct, and repetitive behaviors. Conclusion: This study adds to existing literature by demonstrating the relationship between comorbid psychopathology in children and adolescents in ASD and parental well-being.
  • Publication
    Age of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and comorbidity in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-05-01) Leader, Geraldine; Hogan, Amy; Chen, June L.; Maher, Leanne; Naughton, Katie; O'Rourke, Nathan; Casburn, Mia; Mannion, Arlene
    Research is required to study the relationship between age of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis and the presence of comorbidities. The Gastrointestinal Symptom Inventory, Autism Spectrum Disorder-Comorbid for Children, Behavior Problem Inventory-Short Form and Social Communication Questionnaire were completed by parents of 129 children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD. Results revealed significant relationships between the age of ASD diagnosis, the presence of comorbidities and intellectual disability. Significant correlations were found between the age of ASD diagnosis and self-injurious and stereotyped behavior. Comorbid psychopathology significantly predicted the presence of GI symptoms. In addition, the relationship between comorbid psychopathology and challenging behavior in this study was reported as bi-directional as both comorbidities predicted one another in the sample. Future research needs to consider the role of comorbidities in relation to ASD diagnosis.
  • Publication
    Abdominal pain in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a systematic review
    (Springer, 2021-05-11) Lanyi, Julia; Flynn, Christopher; Mannion, Arlene; Maher, Leanne; Naughton, Katie; Leader, Geraldine
    The aim of this study was to review the existing literature on abdominal pain in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Systematic search of four databases (PsycINFO, ERIC, PubMed, MEDLINE) identified 13 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Articles were analyzed for common themes, including the prevalence of abdominal pain and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, associations between abdominal pain/GI symptoms and behavioral and emotional concerns, associations between abdominal pain/GI symptoms, and other comorbid disorders and treatment options based on gut bacteria, diet, and probiotics. Reasons for varying prevalence rates, persistence of symptoms over time, comorbidities, and different treatment options are discussed. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are also discussed.