Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP


The current study examines the effectiveness of a group-based adaptive skills training program in improving the perceived quality of life (QoL) of adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Adolescent and Young Adult Treatment Program (AYATP) is implemented by a specialized Autism outpatient treatment facility, with a focus on improving the personal independence and daily living skills of its participants. With the use of archival data from the specialized Autism outpatient treatment a study was conducted utilizing a mixed factorial design by analyzing pre- and post-measures of the participants’ perceived quality of life, as measured by a research-based self-report questionnaire. The study also examined the relationship between quality of life ratings and lengths of treatment participation. The results supported the program’s ability to improve overall participant quality of life ratings over the course of time. However, the hypothesized impact of program treatment experience on perceived quality of life ratings was not reinforced. Limitations in the amount of available outcome data for analysis may have impacted the generalizability of study findings to other racial, gender and disability groups with ASD. Overall, this study can be conceptualized as an initial examination of a unique treatment model, as well as a catalyst for future program evaluation aimed at improving treatment efficacy.