Childhood Gender Variance and the Autism Spectrum: Evidence of an Association Using a Child Behavior Checklist 10-Item Autism Screener

Lucia Youka Munoz Murakami, Anna I. R. van der Miesen, A. Natisha Nabbijohn, Doug P. VanderLaan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Childhood gender variance (GV) is associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis/traits; however, this association has mainly been investigated in clinical samples. An ASD screening measure based on 10 items from the commonly used Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) might enable investigation of this association in a wider variety of (non-clinical) populations where the CBCL and a measure of GV are available. We investigated whether GV in 6- to 12-year-olds (N = 1719; 48.8% assigned male at birth) from a community sample showed an association with the CBCL 10-item ASD screener. The Gender Identity Questionnaire for Children measured GV. The CBCL 10-item ASD screener measured ASD traits. The remaining CBCL items provided a measure of children’s general emotional and behavioral challenges. Higher GV was associated with higher CBCL ASD screener scores, including when controlling for the remaining CBCL items. The CBCL 10-item ASD screener can be useful for investigating the link between GV and ASD traits in 6- to 12-year-olds. Given that the CBCL is commonly employed, secondary analyses of existing datasets that also included a measure of GV could enable investigation of how widely the association between GV and ASD applies across a variety of populations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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