Title page for ETD etd-07032007-152559

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Graham, Cindy Terlonge
Author's Email Address cterlo1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07032007-152559
Title Deficits in Social Skills and Feeding Behaviors Associated with Adults Diagnosed with Autistic Disorder Living in an Institutionalized Setting
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Johnny L. Matson Committee Chair
Alan Baumeister Committee Member
Wm. Drew Gouvier Committee Member
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • step
  • messier
  • autism
  • feeding problems
Date of Defense 2007-02-28
Availability unrestricted
Autistic disorder, a syndrome beginning in infancy and persisting into adulthood, has captured the attention of researchers and clinicians alike. Although this disorder has been studied since the mid-1940s, there is a lack of literature addressing certain adaptive skills in adults with autism. The aim of this study was to examine the differences in social and feeding skills between individuals with and without autistic disorder. Given the importance of acquiring these skills to facilitate proper adjustment and decrease potential health risks, better understanding of these behaviors in persons with autism is warranted. Participants comprised three separate groups: an autism group, a control group exhibiting psychopathology other than autism or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and a control group consisting of individuals not diagnosed with an Axis I disorder. The author hypothesized that there would be significant differences between the three groups on the MESSIER and the STEP, two scales designed to measure social skills and feeding related problems in individuals with developmental disabilities. In particular, the autism group was expected to show fewer strengths and greater deficits in social and feeding skills in comparison to the other groups. Furthermore, the investigator hypothesized that associated items from the MESSIER and the STEP, determined by post hoc analyses, would differ across the autism, psychopathology, and control groups, such that the correlation between mean subscale scores would be significantly higher for the autism group than for the other two groups. Analyses of the mean subscale scores on the MESSIER and the STEP did not show any significant differences across the groups.
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