Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the Social Validity of a Dynamic Assessment of Social Skills: Caregivers Perspectives on a Measure of Social Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
by Butcher, Colleen M., Ph.D., University of Florida, 2016, 143; 10679091
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research study sought to understand the caregiver perspectives about a social communication assessment, the Dynamic Assessment, as well as their beliefs about relevant behaviors for social functioning. More specifically, the study examined the process of the an evaluation of social communication, including interviews, questionnaires, observation, and direct assessment, the caregivers’ perspectives regarding the process and the results of the evaluation, and specific behaviors that they feel are important for successful social communication.

Qualitative methodology was used to gain a deep, meaningful understanding of caregivers’ experiences and perceptions about the evaluation, the results, their beliefs about social communication. To obtain this rich information, data was collected by conducting pre- and post-assessment interviews with the parents and teachers of four boys who were referred for assessment due to concerns about social communication. Data analysis included coding, creating categories that emerged from the codes, determining patterns, and identifying themes that represented their experience and perceptions.

Data analysis produced a model that indicates that caregivers’ beliefs about childhood and experiences with the particular child influenced the evaluation, as well as their reactions to the results of the assessment. The evaluation was also influenced by the child’s intra-individual characteristics, which both guided the assessment referral and determined the results of the evaluation. The evaluation influenced the participants’ reactions to the results. In turn, the caregiver reactions to the results are believed to further affect the caregiver’s perspective on the child.

Participants expressed satisfaction with the use of the Dynamic Assessment and school observations as a way to evaluate social communication functioning. They reported that the results of the Dynamic Assessment provided accurate and detailed information about their child. Participants also described which behaviors they view as being important for successful social functioning, such as the ability to initiate and maintain conversations, reading nonverbal communication, and having social awareness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith-Bonahue, Tina
Commitee: Colon, Elayne, Jones, Hazel, Radonovich, Krestin
School: University of Florida
Department: School Psychology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: social communication
Publication Number: 10679091
ISBN: 978-0-355-40111-0
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