Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Carl Myers (Director),Dr. Lekeisha Meyer,Dr. Elizabeth Jones

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


In recent years, autism diagnoses have steadily increased, putting a substantial emphasis on early identification as a crucial component for intervention. Autism diagnoses, however, often require a thorough and comprehensive assessment from a highly trained practitioner. Although ideal, such assessments are often time consuming and expensive, creating a need for a quicker, more simplistic method of screening for autism. Clinicians customarily used behavior rating scales to identify a number of various problem behaviors and/or disorders. The purpose of the present study is to examine the utility of two common behavior rating scales in accurately discriminating between a group of preschoolers with autism and a group of referred preschoolers with autism. Parents/guardians of 74 preschoolers with and without autism, who had been referred to a child development clinic due to behavioral or developmental concerns, completed both behavior rating scales as part of a comprehensive assessment. Although analyses revealed significant differences between the two groups of participants on two of the scales from one of the instruments, these findings demonstrate little clinical value for screening purposes.


Clinical Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Psychology