Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Due to the dearth of information categorically describing feeding behaviors in those with autism spectrum disorders, the goal of this research is to examine the nature of feeding difficulties in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Feeding and mealtime behavior problems are an area of concern due to their impact on an individual’s daily functioning, as well as the potential for causing severe medical conditions (e.g., poor nutrition, choking, aspiration) that may ultimately lead to death. Due to the importance of this topic for proper diagnosis and treatment planning, a better understanding of these behaviors in persons with autism is imperative. Participants comprised one of two groups: ASD and ID (autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified) or ID and no additional Axis I diagnosis other than Pica or Rumination. The aim of the proposed study is to assess whether there are differences in aberrant eating habits between groups through the administration of the Screening Tool for fEeding Problems (STEP). Taking into account any medical conditions that may be underlying feeding problems, descriptive analyses and a MANOVA were used to analyze data. Results indicated that individuals with ASD and ID evinced more refusal related feeding problems whereas those with ID only had more feeding skill difficulties. Implications of these data are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Johnny L. Matson

Included in

Psychology Commons