Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


School Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiv, 151 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

David Miller

Committee Members

Amanda Nickerson, Stacy Williams


Anxiety, Autism, Depression, Reliability, Self-report, Autistic youth, Autistic children, Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's syndrome in adolescence, Asperger's syndrome in children, Depression in adolescence, Depression in children, Anxiety in adolescence, Anxiety in children

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology


Anxiety and depression are more prevalent in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) than in the general population. Due to their cognitive impairments, and questions concerning the validity and reliability of their responses, it is unknown whether these individuals can accurately self-report their internalizing disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the internal consistency reliability and test-retest reliability of self-reports of depression and anxiety amongst children and adolescents with ASDs. The study used a convenience sample of 31 subjects aged 8 to 17 with a diagnosis of high-functioning autism. Self-reports were administered using the Child Depression Inventory and the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS), administered two times each. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach's alpha, Factor Analysis, Principal Components Analysis, and Correlation Analysis were used to analyze the test scores. Factor Analyses indicated that the 10 items of CDI-S loaded onto one dimension. It was concluded CDI-S measured one factor, and exhibited a high level of internal consistency reliability. The results of Factor Analysis were consistent with Cronbach's alpha values > .9 which indicated that CDI-S measured one construct. The RCMAS measured two factors. Three anxiety sub-scales loaded onto one factor with a high level of internal consistency reliability. The Lie Scale measured a different construct and loaded onto a second factor. The results of Factor Analysis were consistent with the two constructs extracted by Cronbach's alpha, which increased in magnitude from .787 to .827 when the Lie Scale was excluded. The CDI-S and RCMAS had excellent levels of test-retest reliability (using a 2-3 week time interval between test and retest) indicated by Pearson's r, Spearman's rho, Spearman-Brown, and Guttman's coefficients > .9. No significant difference between the scores with respect to the ages or genders of the participants was identified. The results justified the use of CDI-S and RCMAS as reliable instruments for children and adolescents with high functioning autism to self-report their internalizing disorders, with practical implications for the screening and monitoring of these individuals.