Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Psychology (Masters)

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 58 pages) : illustrations (some color), forms.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kristin V Christodulu

Committee Members

Melissa L Rinaldi


Children with autism spectrum disorders, Social skills, Prediction of scholastic success, Academic achievement, Students, Teacher-student relationships

Subject Categories



The rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), both in the general population and within the classroom, necessitates a greater understanding of the academic experience of diagnosed children. Prior studies that have examined academic competence in children with ASD have largely relied on clinician-administered tests of achievement. The present study extends previous work by investigating several predictors of teacher-rated academic competence among a sample of elementary school-aged children. All children in the sample were referred for an ASD evaluation and approximately half received the diagnosis. With the exception of assertion, teachers did not perceive differences between the social skills, problem behaviors, or academic competence of children with and without ASD. Regression analyses showed that cognitive ability, social skills, and problem behaviors accounted for significant variance in teacher-rated academic competence. Moderation analyses indicated that the relations between the predictors (cognitive ability, social skills, problem behaviors) and academic competence were comparable for children with and without an ASD diagnosis. These findings indicate that social skill impairments and elevated problem behaviors are directly related to school success, regardless of diagnosis. Implications for educational providers and future directions are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons