All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sarah O'Kelley

Advisory Committee Members

Fred Biasini

Edwin W Cook III

Michael Crowe

Bulent Turan

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


In the United States, Latino children receive autism diagnoses at a later age compared to non-Latino Black and non-Latino White children (Jo et al., 2015), have the highest rate of misdiagnosis (Magaña, Lopez, Aguinaga, & Morton, 2013), and are more likely to be under-identified (Pedersen et al., 2012). This study examines the presentation of ASD stigma and potentially influencing factors in Latino populations. Through an online survey, 97 Latino and 115 non-Latino White participants were randomly assigned to read one of two vignettes depicting characteristics and symptoms of ASD in lay terms for either their own child (self) or a friend’s child (other) and completed measures addressing stigma towards and knowledge about ASD. Latino participants also completed a measure assessing level of biculturalism. No significant differences in ASD stigma were found across self-identified ethnic group, biculturalism level within Latino participants, or manipulation condition (i.e., own child, friend’s child). Correlational analyses revealed a significant negative relationship between ASD knowledge and ASD stigma, such that stigma decreased as knowledge increased. Compared to men, results suggested women had more ASD knowledge. Moderation analyses revealed a significant interaction between ethnicity and ASD knowledge on ASD stigma, such that Latino participants had higher ASD stigma when ASD knowledge scores were high. Overall, the study begins to elucidate the multifaceted presentation of ASD stigma across iii sociodemographic groups. Future research should include more representative samples and explore treatment-seeking.