Identifier

etd-06242010-205201

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

A preponderance of males with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been evident since the initial writings on the topic. This male predominance has consistently emerged in all ASD research to date in epidemiological as well as clinical populations. Despite this long recognized gender disparity in ASD, surprisingly there is a paucity of research addressing gender as it relates to core ASD symptom presentation. Gender differences may manifest with regard to symptom domains, severity, breadth, and so forth. The present research examined gender differences in ASD symptomatology in three populations: infants and toddlers at risk for developmental disability, children and adolescents, and adults with intellectual disability (ID). No significant gender differences in ASD symptoms were found in the infant/toddler or child/adolescent populations. In the adult population, in participants with ID alone, females had higher endorsements of social (i.e., participation in social games, sports, and activities; interest in other’s side of the conversation; and imitation) and communication (i.e., interest in other's side of the conversation and reading body language) impairments compared to males. This study has considerable implications in both the clinical and research realms regarding identification and intervention issues for females with ASD, as well as stimulating a future research agenda in this area.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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