Title page for ETD etd-07252012-201449


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Neal, Daniene
URN etd-07252012-201449
Title Examination of the Reliability and Validity of a New Observation Measure for Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Autism Spectrum Disorder Observation for 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
Lane, Sean M Committee Member
McFarland, Alison Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • assessment
  • early intervention
  • social skills
  • communication
  • restricted interests
  • repetitive behaviors
Date of Defense 2012-02-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
With increasing attention being drawn to autism spectrum disorders (ASD), specifically with regard to early and accurate diagnosis and treatment, researchers and clinicians alike have placed emphasis on finding assessment tools that can aid in this goal. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychometric properties of a new observation measure for ASD, the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Observation for Children (ASD-OC). The ASD-OC was found to have good to excellent interrater reliability, and excellent internal consistency ( = .96). As a result of these initial reliability analyses, nine items were removed from the scale. The resulting 45 item ASD-OC was found to converge strongly with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and had a moderate inverse relationship with the Daily Living Domain of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (VABS-II). Based on analyses of criterion validity, the ASD-OC was able to differentiate children with ASD from children without ASD. Discriminant analysis confirmed the ability of the 45 item measure to accurately predict diagnostic group membership. Finally, an exploration of the effect of the changing DSM criteria based on the ASD-OC was conducted resulting in support for concerns regarding children who may no longer meet criteria but continue to exhibit significant impairments. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.
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