No Sex Differences in Cognitive Ability in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Susanne W. Duvall, Lark Huang-Storms, Alison Presmanes Hill, Julianne Myers, Eric Fombonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Inconsistent findings regarding sex differences in cognition have been found in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study evaluated sex differences in cognitive-developmental functioning in a large clinical sample of young children diagnosed with ASD. The sample included children 18–68 months of age who received the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) through Autism Treatment Network (ATN) sites from 2007 to 2013 (N = 1587, 16.7% female). In this large clinically referred sample of young children with ASD in the United States, no significant differences were found between the sexes for the MSEL Early Learning Composite (ELC) standard score, domain T Scores or age equivalents. These findings persisted when examining different age ranges, cognitive levels and domain profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1770-1785
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of autism and developmental disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Intellectual function
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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