Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder most commonly caused by the impaired expression of the maternal UBE3A gene on chromosome 15. Though anxiety has been identified as a frequently present characteristic in AS, there are limited studies examining anxiety in this population. Studies of anxiety in other neurodevelopmental disorders have found disorder specific symptoms of anxiety and age specific displays of anxiety symptoms. However, there is a consistent challenge in identifying anxiety in people with neurodevelopmental disorders given the lack of measurement instruments specifically designed for this population. Given the limited information about AS and anxiety, the aims of the current project were to (a) examine symptoms of anxiety in children with AS and (b) determine the correlates of anxiety in children with AS. Participants included 42 adult caregivers of youth with AS in the AS Natural History study who completed the Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC). The results found that 26% of the sample demonstrated elevated symptoms of anxiety and established a relationship between elevated anxiety in youth with AS and higher levels of irritability, hyperactivity, self-absorbed behaviors, and disruptive/antisocial behaviors. Findings from this research provide a foundation for tailoring evidence-based assessments and treatments for youth with AS and anxiety.

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