Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit developmental differences in a number of domains, including memory. Short-term memory (STM) has been studied in children with ASD but the findings have been mixed. Children with ASD are also at increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Anxiety has been found to impact short-term (STM) and other cognitive functions in typically developing children. Limited research suggests that trait anxiety is associated with poorer STM in school-aged children with ASD. Given that STM develops throughout early childhood, understanding the impact of anxiety in younger children with ASD may be beneficial in providing the most effective treatments. In the current study, I evaluated the impact of anxiety on the relation between developmental status and visuospatial and verbal STM in young children with ASD. In line with previous research, I hypothesized that children with ASD and high anxiety symptoms would have the lowest performance on both spatial and verbal STM. The current sample consisted of 14 children (ages 3:0-6:11), both typically developing and with ASD, and their parents. Trait anxiety was measured via parent-report on the Spence Preschool Anxiety Scale (SPAS; Spence et al., 2001), and STM was measured using the Digit Span Forward and Recognition of Pictures subtest of the Differential Ability Scales – Second Edition (DAS-II; Elliott, 2007). The main effects of both verbal and visuospatial STM regressed on status were not significant; however, developmental status predicted higher anxiety. The moderating effect of anxiety on the relation between status and both verbal and visuospatial STM was not significant. Clinical implications include the need for increased focus on the treatment of anxiety in young children with ASD. In addition, these findings suggest the need for future, larger studies to continue to explore the impact of anxiety on cognitive functions in children with anxiety.
|Advisor:||Wilson, Beverly J.|
|Commitee:||Erickson, Thane, Reilly, Beau|
|School:||Seattle Pacific University|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-B 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Mental health, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Anxiety, Autism spectrum disorder, Short-term memory, Verbal ability, Working memory|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be