Autism, ethnicity and maternal immigration


Autism has been the subject of intense public and professional attention in recent years. One of the biggest questions is what causes it. Like the discoveries made about schizophrenia in the late 20th century, we are learning that autism too has genetic and environmental determinants. Here Dr Daphne Keen discusses her paper which attempts to answer the question of whether maternal immigration and ethnicity, together or in tandem, are implicated as being risk factors in young children who develop autism.


Date published: 30 May 2010

Audio running time: 18 minutes

Credits: 0.5


Learning outcomes


By the end of this podcast, we hope you will be able to:


  • understand the background history which led to this study, and be able to describe some of the basic clinical features and routes to diagnosis of a child with autism


  • describe the methods, advantages and limitations of a retrospective epidemiological retrospective study, and how this study design was applied in this case


  • understand the principle of confounding factors, and be aware of the types of confounding factors which need to be considered when investigating immigration and ethnicity


  • have an understanding of how studies of this type can help shape services and future research.


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Please note: This podcast was recorded in 2010. Please be aware that some of the material covered and/or guidance may have changed.


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If you like this podcast, you may also be interested in the following:


Neurobiology of ADHD by Dr Katia Rubia


Anxiety disorders in children by Prof Ronald Rapee


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