Identifier

etd-04092009-171942

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

While there has been an abundance of research investigating Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in children, very little emphasis has been placed on ASD in adults, especially in regards to comorbid psychopathology. This is of great concern considering that ASD often co-occurs with intellectual disability (ID), and that both may serve as risk factors for additional psychopathology. While instruments exist that measure comorbid psychopathology in adults with ID, these scales are not targeted to the unique expression of comorbidity in adults with ID and ASD. The Autism Spectrum Disorders-Comorbidity for Adults (ASD-CA) was devised for this reason. This paper begins with an overview of ASD, including history, diagnostic features, prevalence, and a discussion of comorbidity. The overview is followed by two studies. Study 1 was conducted to examine the frequency of symptom endorsements among adults classified as having ID; ID and ASD; and ID, ASD, and additional psychopathology. Study 2 was conducted to further increase the utility of the ASD-CA by creating cutoff scores for its subscales. The results of Study 1 showed a general pattern among diagnostic groups in regards to scores on the subscales of the ASD-CA, with the ASD groups scoring the highest. For Study 2, cutoff scores were calculated for each subscale of the ASD-CA, and were defined as values one standard deviation greater than the respective ID and ASD group means. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the results as well as directions for future research.

Date

2009

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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