Little is known about how internalizing symptoms in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affect family outcomes, despite the high rates of internalizing disorders in ASD and the dynamic relationships among child, parent, and family variables. This study was done to explore the relationship between anxiety, depression, and family impact in adolescents with ASD and the average range of intelligence quotient.

The researchers evaluated the predictive value of internalizing symptoms. The sample size of the study included a total of 69 adolescents with ASD and average-range cognitive abilities on family impact. In addition to the previously mentioned variables, the researchers also examined the correspondence between parent and child symptom ratings. Results indicated that internalizing symptoms predict family impact above IQ and externalizing symptoms. Depression predicted more positive family functioning, and parents rated more internalizing symptoms than adolescents.

The study concluded through its findings that the results are contrary to our initial predictions, and we offer several explanations for this difference. There are significant differences between parent and child ratings of internalizing symptoms therefore these variables are also explored.