Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The context of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors in young children with autism spectrum disorders: Exploring triggers and functions
by Barber, Angela B., Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2008, 102; 3340690
Abstract (Summary)

Repetitive and stereotyped behaviors (RSB) are an early diagnostic feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, few studies have systematically examined the context and functions of RSB in young children with ASD. This study examined five object placement triggers, a dichotomous regulation measure, and nine function categories of RSB demonstrated by children between 18 and 24 months of age with ASD (n = 55), compared to children with developmental delay in which ASD had been ruled out (DD; n = 22), typical development matched groupwise on chronological age (TDCA; n = 37), and typical development matched groupwise on mental age (TDMA; n = 47). Measures were coded from video recorded behavior samples during the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (Wetherby & Prizant, 2002) using Noldus Pro® Observer software. Group differences between object placement, emotional regulation, and functions of RSB were explored. Findings revealed that children with ASD demonstrated lower proportions of well regulated behavior during episodes of RSB with large effect sizes compared to children with DD, TDCA, and TDMA. Based on effect sizes, similar object placement and function profiles were demonstrated across groups, particularly between the ASD and TD groups. Occupying self was the most common function of RSB across groups. Children with ASD demonstrated more RSB for object focused functions than the TD groups and fewer RSB for functions related to the meaningful use of objects than children in the DD and TDCA groups. These findings offer a framework to assess the function of RSB that may contribute to intervention decision-making.

Indexing (document details)
School: The Florida State University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Speech therapy, Early childhood education, Developmental psychology
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders, Early identification, Repetitive behavior, Stereotyped behaviors, Triggers
Publication Number: 3340690
ISBN: 9780549955801
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