Use of the aberrant behavior checklist(ABC) in autistic disorder (AD)

M. L. Cuccaro, S. A. Ravan, R. K. Abramson, C. M. Wolpert, S. L. Connelly, M. A. Pericak-Vance, H. H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ABC is a standardized measure of maladaptive behavior in individuals with developmental disorders (Aman & Singh, 1986). This 58-item rating scale yields composite scores in five areas that reflect mood and behavioral states. Recent studies using the ABC have reported specific profiles for various developmental disorders which have mental retardation as part of the phenotype such as Angelman syndrome (Clarke & Marston, 2000). As part of a genetic study of Autistic Disorder, caregivers of individuals with AD completed the ABC. The sample consisted of 116 individuals (mean age=103 months). ABC mean factor scores (Irritability=12.61, Lethargy =12.00, Stereotypy=6.44, Hyperactivity=18.04, and Inappropriate Speech=3.15) for the AD group were compared to a recently derived normative sample based on parent-report (Brown, 1997). Additional comparisons were made between our AD sample and other groups of individuals with developmental disorders. Our findings are also examined with respect to the language level of our participants. This allows for investigation of the utility of the ABC with AD individuals of different functional levels. This study represents the first effort to examine the usefulness of the ABC for AD. The ABC has potential significance as a method of examining other behavioral features of the AD phenotype in a quantitative fashion. This may prove a useful strategy for stratification of individuals with AD in genetic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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