Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often comorbid. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships between ASD and ADHD symptoms by applying causal modeling. We used a large phenotypic data set of 417 children with ASD and/or ADHD, 562 affected and unaffected siblings, and 414 controls, to infer a structural equation model using a causal discovery algorithm. Three distinct pathways between ASD and ADHD were identified: (1) from impulsivity to difficulties with understanding social information, (2) from hyperactivity to stereotypic, repetitive behavior, (3) a pairwise pathway between inattention, difficulties with understanding social information, and verbal IQ. These findings may inform future studies on understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms behind the overlap between ASD and ADHD.
- Age Factors
- Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis
- Autism Spectrum Disorder/diagnosis
- Sex Factors
- Statistics as Topic/methods
- Stereotyped Behavior/physiology