Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an increasingly common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in socialization skills and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors. In addition to a number of medical and psychological comorbidities, ASD is associated with a complex phenomenon: developmental regression (i.e., loss of skills in developmental domains). Although present in other disorders (albeit rare), developmental regression is prevalent among individuals with ASD. Thus, interest in studying the phenomenon has grown. However, research on associated risk factors and outcomes is limited and findings have been inconsistent. The current study had two aims: (1) examine potential factors associated with developmental regression in children with ASD, and (2) compare outcomes between children with and without a history of developmental regression. Gender, race/ethnicity, maternal age, paternal age, and history of seizures were not significantly associated with developmental regression. Children who regressed were found to exhibit greater severity in ASD symptoms and adaptive deficits in the communication domain. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Date

6-27-2019

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L.

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