Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2008

Thesis Advisor(s)

Deborah Fein

Honors Major



Biological Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


One factor that is investigated as a possible clue to etiological factors in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is season of birth. Season of birth effects could be the result of temperature, toxins, dietary changes, viral infections, and cultural or social factors that change seasonally (Bolton, Pickles, Harrington, Macdonald, & Rutter, 1992). A number of studies have looked for season of birth effects in ASD with no conclusive results. The current study analyzed season of birth effects in a sample of 441 children diagnosed with ASD. Analysis was also repeated after excluding prematurely born children from the data. Level of functioning and gender effects were tested by breaking the sample into a number of sub-groups. While there were no season of birth effects in the sample of all children with ASD when compared to children without ASD in either the entire sample or the non-premature sample, there were significant differences in the season of birth of low functioning children with ASD when compared with high functioning children with ASD.