Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP
The current study examines the effectiveness of a Social Competency Program, implemented by a local agency specializing in autism diagnosis and treatment, with regard to the development of social skills among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. This study, conducted using archival data from a local community agency, used a within-subjects, repeated measures research design to determine if the Social Competency Program enhanced the overall social performance of enrolled participants, as measured by clinician-completed rating scales. The study also examined the relationship between program effectiveness and variables including age and gender. The results did not support the program’s ability to improve social functioning or any variation in effectiveness based on age. Limitations in program evaluation procedures may, however, have affected these outcomes. In addition, analyses exploring the impact of gender could not be conducted because of a limited number of female participants. Overall, this study can be conceptualized as a preliminary measure, as well as a useful tool in guiding future program evaluation, development, and modification.
Kessler, Jessie L., "Assessing Outcomes: Evaluation of a Social Competency Program for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2017). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 412.