Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Autism, Intervention, Diagnosis

Major Advisor

Marianne Barton

Associate Advisor

Stephanie Milan

Associate Advisor

Nairan Ramirez-Esparza

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


A large body of research indicates that early intervention leads to better outcomes in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); yet, research on parent factors that influence intervention engagement is sparse, though emphasized in recent literature that examines the impact of receiving a child’s diagnosis on parents’ mental health and well-being. Examination of the relationship between parent adaptation to a child’s diagnosis (resolution to diagnosis) and intervention engagement as well as factors that may influence parent resolution provides important information about parent psychological processes and their impact on real-life behaviors. We examined these factors in parents of children diagnosed at 24 months and younger who participated in a study of ASD screening instruments. Approximately 12 weeks following evaluation, parents were contacted for a telephone interview to assess treatment engagement (e.g., contacting providers and beginning services) as well as resolution to the child’s diagnosis through a semi-structured interview. Analyses indicate that parents had a high level of intervention engagement at follow-up regardless of resolution or lack of resolution to diagnosis. Consistent with previous literature on parent resolution, most parent and child demographic factors were not associated with parent resolution. Exploratory analyses identified trends in linguistic patterns between resolved and unresolved parents. Clinical implications are important to consider in the context of feedback and follow-up best practices and an increasing focus in the field on parent experiences during and after a child’s diagnosis.