Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Gretchen G. Peacock


Gretchen G. Peacock


Maryellen B. McClain


Sarah E. Pinkelman


Parent knowledge of ASD may be relevant to early identification and intervention services for children with ASD. By understanding how knowledgeable parents of young children are about ASD, researchers and practitioners can intervene and educate this population. This study sought to determine the knowledge base of ASD among parents with children five years and younger and if developmental, behavioral, and autism-related concerns predict knowledge of ASD. The sample of parents consisted of 167 mothers and fathers. All participants completed a knowledge questionnaire (i.e., ASKSG) and reported their level of developmental, behavioral, and autism-related concerns of their oldest child between the ages of 2 and five years. Results revealed that the sample of parents had a relatively low knowledge base of ASD, as determined by a percentage correct on the ASKSG of 43.9% (SD=20.1). Additionally, developmental, behavioral, and autism-related concerns did not collectively predict the sample’s knowledge of ASD; however, autism-related concerns independently predicted knowledge. The results of this study provide information to researchers and practitioners that can be used to educate parents of young children regarding ASD. By doing so, early and appropriate identification of ASD may be improved. In turn, children and families may have increased access to early intervention services and thus may result in better developmental outcomes.



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Psychology Commons