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Risperidone in Children with Autism: ANOVA Article Report (Assessment)

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There is limited literature focusing on the cognitive impacts of unusual antipsychotics in young people (children and teenagers). A substantial portion of the information comes from investigations on patients with schizophrenia as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Considering that these drugs result in sedation, clinicians and researchers have questioned whether cognitive sedation associated with the medication may negatively impact individuals’ mental abilities (Aman et al., 2008). Statistical analyses are essential in handling data to generate information that supports evidence-based practice. This article critique identifies the questions, hypotheses, and limitations of the assigned article. In addition, it critiques the statistical analysis as well as interprets the findings of the study.

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The researchers aim to answer the question of whether treatment with risperidone impacts children suffering from autism by making them exhibit unusual behaviors (Aman et al., 2008). By providing an answer or answers to this inquiry, clinicians and researchers would be guided in their scope of practice.

The investigators hypothesize that there would be no significant variations between cognition abilities in patients treated with placebo and those put on the antipsychotic medication, risperidone. On the other hand, the positive supposition is that individuals taking the drug and placebo would be typified by different impacts on their mental outcomes (Aman et al., 2008). The concepts being investigated are cognitive performance, drug effects, and behavior problems.

The researchers have done an exemplary job in choosing appropriate statistical analyses. Chi-square and t-tests are first utilized to assess whether young persons with mastery have variations on variables such as gender, IQ, ages, and CGI-Severity outcomes. The General Linear Models component in SPSS is applied to manipulate results by using ANOVA tests (Statgraphics Centurion, 2006). Moreover, p-values and partial eta squared are provided. These assessments are adequate for the study and would not be improved. The variables used in the article are sufficient for the investigation, and they would not be changed.

The study authors assume that risperidone and placebo treatments would have significant variations in the mental abilities of children presenting with autism. The investigation has many limitations. First, it uses a 0.05 level of alpha that could not support multiple comparisons. Second, the sample size is too small, implying that it may not be an accurate representation of the population. Third, only a relatively small portion of the sample participates in the assessment (Aman et al., 2008). It would have been essential to increasing the sample size to improve its chances of representing the targeted population.

Statistical testing is applied to the sample by examining the variables in the study. Repeated measures are assessed using ANOVA, while t-test and ChiSquare evaluate the relationships between mastery of children suffering from autism and the impacts of risperidone.

Twenty-nine boys, as well as nine girls all aged more than 18 months suffering from autism, do not exhibit significant declines in mental performance when put on risperidone. In fact, cancellation and verbal learning tasks are better in persons treated with this drug (F = 3.18 and F = 4.42, respectively). The ABC irritability and gender scores are relatively higher but not significant for the mastery group of study participants (Aman et al., 2008). T-test shows that the majority of the children in the investigation are white, and most of their parents are highly educated.

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In conclusion, ANOVA measures and t-test are used in the investigation to analyze variables statistically. The study does not show a positive correlation between treatment with risperidone and deterioration of mental abilities among boys and girls suffering from autism. The results will have implications for research and clinical practice in the future.


Aman, M. G., Hollway, J. A., McDougle, C. J., Scahill, L., Tierney, E., McCracken, J. T.,… Cronin, P. (2008). Cognitive effects of risperidone in children with autism and irritable behavior. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 18(3), 227-236.

Statgraphics Centurion. (2006). Analysis of variance. Web.

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