Title page for ETD etd-07072008-204632

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gonzalez, Melissa Luke
URN etd-07072008-204632
Title The Initial Reliability and Construct Validity of the Autism Spectrum Disorder-Diagnostic (ASD-DC) in Children
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Matson, Johnny Lee Committee Chair
Davis, Thompson E. III Committee Member
Gouvier, William D. Committee Member
Noell, George Jr. Committee Member
Gansle, Kristin A. Dean's Representative
  • assessment
  • autism
  • developmental disabilities
Date of Defense 2007-08-07
Availability unrestricted
The aim of the present study was to examine the reliability and construct validity of a newly developed assessment scale designed to identify autism spectrum disorders in children: Autism Spectrum Disorder-Diagnostic for Children (ASD-DC). Participants were parents and caregivers of children between ages 2 and 16 years, who are typically developing or developmentally delayed. Participants were asked to complete several rating scales including the ASD-DC, a DSM-IV-TR/ICD-10 checklist, the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills in Youngsters (MESSY), and the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Version 2 (BASC-2). In Study 1, the test-retest, inter-rater, and inter-item reliabilities of the ASD-DC was examined. After initial reliability analysis, the scale was reduced to 37 items. The ASD-DC was found to have good to excellent inter-rater reliability, and excellent test-retest reliability. The 37 item scale had excellent internal consistency ( = .99) and adequate item-scale correlations. In Study 2, the construct validity of the ASD-DC was investigated by evaluating the pattern of correlations (i.e., convergent and divergent validity) among the administered scales utilizing a correlation matrix. The ASD-DC converged with another measure of autism (i.e., DSM-IV-TR/ICD-10 checklist) and other associated symptoms of ASD. Further, divergence was observed when the ASD-DC was correlated with measures of social skills and functional communication. Based on the results of this initial study of the ASD-DC, the psychometric properties of this new scale are promising and warrant further investigation. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.
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