All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Kristi Guest

Advisory Committee Members

Laura McGuinn

Sylvie Mrug

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences


The current study aimed to identify patterns of adaptive functioning in autistic children. Additionally, this study assessed predictors of adaptive functioning by examining whether cognitive ability predicted adaptive functioning in children with and without ASD and exploring whether expressive and receptive language predicted adaptive behavior and whether those relationships were moderated by an ASD diagnosis. Participants included 196 children who were evaluated for ASD at a tertiary care clinic. In this sample, 89 participants (45%) were diagnosed with ASD, 143 (73%) were male, and the average age was 6.63 years old (SD= 3.08). Profile analysis was used to evaluate the patterns of adaptive behavior. Results indicated that autistic children performed worse on measures of overall adaptive behavior compared to children without ASD, F(1, 190)= 10.56, p=.001. However, autistic and non-autistic children did not exhibit significantly different patterns of adaptive functioning. Both the ASD and non-ASD groups displayed similar patterns, scoring significantly higher on the daily living skills domain (M= 72.01) compared to the communication (M= 67.54) and socialization domains (M= 68.50). Multiple hierarchical regression was used to evaluate predictors of adaptive functioning. Due to the multicollinearity between receptive and expressive language, they were assessed in separate models. After controlling for motor abilities and maternal education, the results indicated that participants with higher cognitive functioning had better adaptive functioning (p