Assessing aggression in persons with autism spectrum disorders: An overview




Johnny L. Matson, Paige E. Cervantes

Research in Developmental Disabilities

December 2014




•Twenty-five different methods were located for assessing aggression in people with ASD.

•Measures are used to identify problem behaviors, distinguish maintaining variables, and to assess treatment outcome.

•This area of research is expanding rapidly.

•Assessment methods are becoming more and more specialized.


Aggression is a commonly co-occurring problem with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Comorbid aggression can be every bit as debilitating as core symptoms of ASD itself. As a result, careful identification of aggression, the context in which it occurs, and factors that maintain the behavior all have important implications for treatment. As a result, researchers have begun to develop methods and measures to assess aggression among persons with ASD. The purpose of this paper was to review measures that have been used to assess aggression among persons with ASD. We located 25 different assessment methods for both children and adults. The current status and future directions of this area of research are discussed.









Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee