Pragmatic Language and Social Skills Functioning in Children Diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder
Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP
Beverly White, Psy.D., Chairperson
Virginia Salzer, Ph.D.
Jane Dumsha, Ph.D., CHES
Christina Esposito, Psy.D.
Sixteen children with a diagnosis of Asperger's Disorder, as defined by the DSM-IV-TR (2000), were assessed using the following standardized measures: KBIT-2 (Kaufman & Kaufman, 2003), CASL (Carrow-Woolfolk, 1999), and SSRS (Gresham & Elliot, 1990). The purpose of the study was to determine whether the measurement of pragmatic language functioning is reliably associated with social skill performance in children with Asperger's disorder. Results indicated that the group mean composite index score of the CASL was in the average range for children with a standard score of 85 or higher on the KBIT -2. Group average scores for formal language functioning and pragmatic language functioning each fell in the average range as measured by the CASL. However, qualitative analysis strongly suggested that formal language was superior to pragmatic language in the studied sample. Results measuring social skills functioning were mixed. Parent report for children in Grades K -6 indicated below average social skills functioning (M = 77) and above average problem behavior (M= 112). Similarly, parent report for children for Grades 7-12 indicated below average social skills functioning (M = 53) and above average problem behavior (M= 135). Teacher report for children in Grades K -6 indicated average social skills functioning (M = 90). However, teacher report indicated problem behavior frequency in the above average range for children in Grades K -6 (M = 112). Parent/guardian and teacher ratings of social skills functioning were not significantly correlated (r = .05). Pragmatic Language Test scores were not significantly correlated with social skills functioning (r = .26). Cognitive functioning was not significantly correlated with social skills functioning (r = .26).
Toro, Donna Lee, "Pragmatic Language and Social Skills Functioning in Children Diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder" (2008). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 140.