Zucker, K. et al. | Intense/obsessional interests in children with gender dysphoria: a cross-validation study using the Teacher’s Report Form | Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health | Published 25 September 2017
This study assessed whether children clinically referred for gender dysphoria (GD) show symptoms that overlap with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Circumscribed preoccupations/intense interests and repetitive behaviors were considered as overlapping symptoms expressed in both GD and ASD.
To assess these constructs, we examined Items 9 and 66 on the Teacher’s Report Form (TRF), which measure obsessions and compulsions, respectively.
For Item 9, gender-referred children (n = 386) were significantly elevated compared to the referred (n = 965) and non-referred children (n = 965) from the TRF standardization sample. For Item 66, gender-referred children were elevated in comparison to the non-referred children, but not the referred children.
These findings provided cross-validation of a previous study in which the same patterns were found using the Child Behavior Checklist (Vanderlaan et al. in J Sex Res 52:213–19, 2015). We discuss possible developmental pathways between GD and ASD, including a consideration of the principle of equifinality.
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