Title page for ETD etd-06242010-172924

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Boisjoli, Jessica Ann
URN etd-06242010-172924
Title A Taxometric Analysis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Toddlers
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Matson, Johnny L. Committee Chair
Cohen, Alex Committee Member
Gouvier, Wm. Drew Committee Member
Lane, Sean Committee Member
Mooney, Paul Dean's Representative
  • toddlers
  • taxometrics
  • autism spectrum disorders
Date of Defense 2010-04-28
Availability unrestricted
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that are generally first diagnosed in childhood. With the advances in technology to identify this group of disorders, children are being identified at younger and younger ages. Early identification of ASD is critical due to the beneficial effects of early intensive behavioral interventions. While children are being diagnosed with the disorder at very high rates, etiology and definitions of the disorders are still being investigated. Great variability exists with regard to symptoms between individuals. Additionally, less is known about symptom expression in individuals without ASD and symptoms of ASD occurring as a discrete category or along a dimension across populations. Taxometric analysis was employed to determine the underlying latent structure of ASD in toddlers at risk for developmental disabilities. A dimensional latent structure of ASD in a population of toddlers at risk for developmental disabilities was found. This has important implications for the upcoming DSM-V, and the proposal of collapsing PDD-NOS and Aspergerís Disorder into a single autism spectrum disorder category.
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