Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Optimal prognoses for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often rely upon early intervention; thus, there has been a call for reliable and valid assessment tools in order to ensure accurate diagnoses among youth at risk for developmental disabilities (DDs) such as autism. The target of this paper is to inspect the underlying factor structure of a recently developed observation tool for assessing autistic symptoms, the Autism Spectrum Disorders – Observation for Children (ASD-OC). More importantly, cutoff scores were also developed for clinical use in order to distinguish between those with and without an ASD. Given that marked changed were made to ASD diagnostic criteria with the release of the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), two sets of cutoff scores were developed according to the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5. Study 1 found that the underlying factor structure of the ASD-OC was best explained by two components (i.e., social/communicative behaviors and repetitive/restricted behaviors and interests). Studies 2 and 3 found the ASD-OC to have excellent discriminating ability when differentiating between those with and without ASD according to both the DSM-IV-TR and the DSM-5. Corresponding cutoff scores were developed based upon these analyses. Although there are a number of ASD observation tools already in existence, the ability of the ASD-OC to satisfy many of the shortcomings of these pre-existing measures appears to be promising.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L.



Included in

Psychology Commons