Introduction: Due to their similar behavioral presentation, it can sometimes be challenging to distinguish between a social anxiety disorder (SAD) and the social avoidance that is frequently described in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Moreover, a growing body of evidences is reporting that a significant proportion of subjects with ASD also meet the requirements for SAD and, vice versa, subjects with SAD tend to exhibit a higher prevalence of autistic traits. Aim: In this framework, the current study aims to evaluate prevalence and correlates of autistic traits in a sample of adult subjects diagnosed with SAD and healthy controls (HC), also evaluating which autism spectrum dimensions may statistically predict higher SAD symptoms. Methods: 56 subjects with a clinical diagnosis of SAD and 56 gender and age matched HC were recruited from the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Pisa. Subjects were assessed with the SCID-5, the Social Anxiety Spectrum – Short Version (SHY- SV) and the Adult Autism Subthreshold Spectrum (AdAS Spectrum). Results: SAD group scored significantly higher in all AdAS Spectrum and SHY-SV domains and total score compared to the HC group with no significant gender difference. SHY-SV total and domain scores, were strongly and positively and strongly correlated with all AdAS Spectrum domains and total score. AdAS Spectrum total score and Childhood/Adolescence, Non-Verbal Communication, Empathy and Restricted interests and Rumination domain scores score were significant predictors of higher SHY-SV score. Conclusion: Our results confirm the link between SAD and autistic traits also in adult population, describing not only high levels of autistic traits in SAD adults, but also significant correlations between many core features of the two disorders and a predictive role of autistic traits on higher SAD symptoms.

Presence and correlates of autistic traits among patients with social anxiety disorder

Carpita B.;Massimetti E.;Pini S.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: Due to their similar behavioral presentation, it can sometimes be challenging to distinguish between a social anxiety disorder (SAD) and the social avoidance that is frequently described in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Moreover, a growing body of evidences is reporting that a significant proportion of subjects with ASD also meet the requirements for SAD and, vice versa, subjects with SAD tend to exhibit a higher prevalence of autistic traits. Aim: In this framework, the current study aims to evaluate prevalence and correlates of autistic traits in a sample of adult subjects diagnosed with SAD and healthy controls (HC), also evaluating which autism spectrum dimensions may statistically predict higher SAD symptoms. Methods: 56 subjects with a clinical diagnosis of SAD and 56 gender and age matched HC were recruited from the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Pisa. Subjects were assessed with the SCID-5, the Social Anxiety Spectrum – Short Version (SHY- SV) and the Adult Autism Subthreshold Spectrum (AdAS Spectrum). Results: SAD group scored significantly higher in all AdAS Spectrum and SHY-SV domains and total score compared to the HC group with no significant gender difference. SHY-SV total and domain scores, were strongly and positively and strongly correlated with all AdAS Spectrum domains and total score. AdAS Spectrum total score and Childhood/Adolescence, Non-Verbal Communication, Empathy and Restricted interests and Rumination domain scores score were significant predictors of higher SHY-SV score. Conclusion: Our results confirm the link between SAD and autistic traits also in adult population, describing not only high levels of autistic traits in SAD adults, but also significant correlations between many core features of the two disorders and a predictive role of autistic traits on higher SAD symptoms.
2023
Carpita, B.; Nardi, B.; Bonelli, C.; Massimetti, E.; Amatori, G.; Cremone, I. M.; Pini, S.; Dell'Osso, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1234388
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