Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2018

Thesis Advisor(s)

Deborah Fein

Honors Major



Applied Behavior Analysis | Health Psychology | Psychology


This experiment aimed to look at how social supports effected adherence to recommendations following a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. We hypothesized that families with higher levels of structural social support, as defined as more adults living in the home, help with child care, presence of a co-parent, and day care utilization, would also report higher levels of adherence to intervention recommendations. The participants (n=8) were caregivers of children diagnosed with ASD at either the University of Connecticut or Drexel University. These children were screened for ASD during a well-visit to their pediatrician, and upon failing the M-CHAT-R, were eligible for a diagnostic evaluation. If ASD was confirmed, the caregivers were contacted three months following the evaluation to complete a phone interview. Chi square tests and independent t tests were used to determine that the data was non-significant, because the respondents had all either initiated or began intervention. Exploratory analyses showed a significant difference between those who responded and those who did not when it came to diagnosis. All responders had an ASD diagnosis (n=8), while less than half of non-responders had an ASD diagnosis (n=4). Future studies may look at diagnosis as a factor in response and adherence.