Factor Structure of Repetitive Behaviors Across Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and commonly occur in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Little is known about how RRBs manifest in ADHD. We quantified and compared factor structures of RRBs in children with ASD (n = 634) or ADHD (n = 448), and related factors to sex and IQ. A four-factor solution emerged, including Stereotypy, Self-Injury, Compulsions, and Ritualistic/Sameness. Factor structures were equivalent across diagnoses, though symptoms were more severe in ASD. IQ negatively correlated with Stereotypy, Self-Injury, and Compulsions in ASD, and negatively correlated with Compulsions and Ritualistic/Sameness behaviors in ADHD. In ASD only, females exhibited higher Self-Injury. Thus, patterns of RRBs are preserved across ASD and ADHD, but severity and relationship with IQ differed.


  • Brierley, Noah J
  • McDonnell, Christina G
  • Parks, Kaitlyn MA
  • Schulz, Samantha E
  • Dalal, Tyler C
  • Kelley, Elizabeth
  • Anagnostou, Evdokia
  • Nicolson, Robert
  • Georgiades, Stelios
  • Crosbie, Jennifer
  • Schachar, Russell
  • Liu, Xudong
  • Stevenson, Ryan A

publication date

  • October 2021