Title page for ETD etd-08042016-141900

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Adams, Hilary Lynn
Author's Email Address hadam15@lsu.edu
URN etd-08042016-141900
Title Caregiver Choice in Autism Intervention: Selections and Influential Factors
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Matson, Johnny Committee Chair
Davis, Thompson III Committee Member
Lane, Sean Committee Member
Denny, Kenton Dean's Representative
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • evidence based practice
  • parents
  • intervention
  • autism
  • psychology
Date of Defense 2016-07-18
Availability unrestricted
Although research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continues to increase, there is not yet a “cure” for the disorder. There is a lack of consensus regarding most effective treatments, much less an accepted treatment plan or course. Families may feel alone and lost in the treatment decision process. In order to best assist caregivers, psychologists must understand the selections caregivers make, their sources of information, and what influences them in their decision-making process. With this knowledge, clinicians may best effect change in caregiver choice by encouraging informed decision-making and use of empirically-based interventions. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to examine the choices that caregivers make in terms of treatment for their children with ASD, the sources from which they obtain information about interventions, and the child and caregiver characteristics that predict evidence-based practice versus complementary and alternative medicine use. Caregivers of children or adolescents with ASD completed an online survey that included questions about these factors and a parent-report measure of ASD symptom severity. Results of treatment selections and sources of information were fairly consistent with extant research. However, the results of regression analyses indicated that only respondent education statistically significantly contributed to predicting hours of CAM treatment, whereas only subject symptom severity of ASD statistically significantly contributed to predicting hours of EBP treatments. Additional results, discussion, future directions, and limitations of the study are provided.
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