Title page for ETD etd-07032012-150016

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rieske, Robert D.
Author's Email Address rrieske@hotmail.com, rriesk1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07032012-150016
Title The Moderating Effect of Autism Symptomology on the Relationship of Cognitive and Adaptive Functioning with Anxiety Symptoms in Infants and Toddlers
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Matson, Johnny L. Committee Chair
Beck, Melissa R. Committee Member
Davis, Thompson E III Committee Member
  • anxiety
  • comorbidity
  • moderation
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
Date of Defense 2012-06-26
Availability unrestricted
Anxiety disorders have been shown to have a high prevalence rate in the general population and the prevalence in those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is even higher. The detection, diagnosis, and implementation of an early intervention program for these disorders are crucial to the developmental outcome for such individuals. Researchers have shown how cognitive and adaptive functioning are related and affect anxiety symptoms in children as well as the high comorbidity with ASD. The aim of this study was to confirm those relationships, using scores from the BISCUIT-Part 2 (anxiety symptomology) and the BDI-II (Cognitive and Adaptive Developmental Quotient), and to show the moderating effect of autism symptomology, as measured by the BISCUIT-Part 1, in infants and toddlers. A sample of 2,366 infants and toddlers between the ages of 17 -36 months of age was utilized in a hierarchical moderation analysis and follow-up post-hoc analyses were also completed to determine the source of the interaction within subdomains of cognitive and adaptive functioning. The relationship between autism symptomology and anxiety was confirmed as well as the relationship between Cognitive DQ and anxiety. Adaptive DQ was found to be positively correlated with anxiety but in the opposite direction as expected. The moderating effect of autism symptomology in the interaction terms between Cognitive and Adaptive DQ individually with anxiety was statistically significant but with a small effect size. Similar results were found for the full regression model including the 3-way interaction between Cognitive DQ, Adaptive DQ, and autism symptomology with a negligible effect size.
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