Identifier

etd-07072008-204632

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the reliability and construct validity of a newly developed assessment scale designed to identify autism spectrum disorders in children: Autism Spectrum Disorder-Diagnostic for Children (ASD-DC). Participants were parents and caregivers of children between ages 2 and 16 years, who are typically developing or developmentally delayed. Participants were asked to complete several rating scales including the ASD-DC, a DSM-IV-TR/ICD-10 checklist, the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills in Youngsters (MESSY), and the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Version 2 (BASC-2). In Study 1, the test-retest, inter-rater, and inter-item reliabilities of the ASD-DC was examined. After initial reliability analysis, the scale was reduced to 37 items. The ASD-DC was found to have good to excellent inter-rater reliability, and excellent test-retest reliability. The 37 item scale had excellent internal consistency (Ą = .99) and adequate item-scale correlations. In Study 2, the construct validity of the ASD-DC was investigated by evaluating the pattern of correlations (i.e., convergent and divergent validity) among the administered scales utilizing a correlation matrix. The ASD-DC converged with another measure of autism (i.e., DSM-IV-TR/ICD-10 checklist) and other associated symptoms of ASD. Further, divergence was observed when the ASD-DC was correlated with measures of social skills and functional communication. Based on the results of this initial study of the ASD-DC, the psychometric properties of this new scale are promising and warrant further investigation. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny Lee

Included in

Psychology Commons

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