Title page for ETD etd-06102012-063907

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Worley, Julie A
URN etd-06102012-063907
Title Comparing Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders using the Current DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria and the Proposed DSM-V Diagnostic Criteria
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Matson, Johnny Committee Chair
Davis, Thompson E III Committee Member
Gouvier, William D Committee Member
Lane, Sean M Committee Member
Kato, Naohiro Dean's Representative
  • DSM-V
  • Diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
Date of Defense 2011-11-07
Availability unrestricted
Children diagnosed with Autistic Disorder (AD), Asperger’s Disorder (AS), and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) share overlapping diagnostic criteria. As a result, there has been an enduring debate regarding the appropriateness of the current categorical classification system used to diagnose this group of disorders, commonly referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Ongoing research examining the boundaries of the disorders comprising the spectrum have yielded inconsistent findings in symptom differences; therefore, the American Psychiatric Association has proposed revisions for the upcoming version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (i.e., DSM-5). Revisions include dropping all subcategories of ASD and including one dimensional category that is all encompassing. Thus, the aim of the current study was to compare symptoms of ASD in children and adolescents who met criteria for ASD according to only the DSM-IV-TR (i.e., DSM-IV-TR group) to those who met criteria according to the forthcoming version of the DSM (i.e., DSM-5 group) and to those that were typically developing (i.e., control group). Using the Autism Spectrum Disorders – Diagnosis for Children, participants in the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 groups did not score significantly different from each other on overall autism symptoms, but both groups scored significantly different from the control group. Upon further investigation, the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 groups scored significantly different in the core domain area of Nonverbal Communication/Socialization. Additionally, different symptom profiles predicted group membership when participants were classified as ASD or typically developing according to the DSM-IV-TR versus the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Implications of these findings and the implications of the proposed changes to the ASD diagnostic category for the DSM-5 are discussed.
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