Defense Date

7-8-2013

Graduation Date

2013

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)

School

Rangos School of Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Diane Williams

Committee Member

Holly Gastgeb

Committee Member

Lori Marra

Keywords

Autism, Executive function, Language, Social cognition, Theory of mind

Abstract

Whereas it is generally accepted that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have deficits in theory of mind, or the ability to understand that other people have thoughts and to infer or predict what those thoughts might be, the relationship of this deficit to other aspects of ASD is still debated. This study examined the relationship between measures of social cognition, language, and the specific executive functions of working memory and cognitive flexibility, and measures of ToM using a large sample of 272 children and adults with high-functioning autism (HFA). The results of a series of hierarchical linear regression models indicated that the strongest relationship occurred between a general measure of language ability (Verbal IQ) and two different measures of ToM. In both children and adults with ASD, ToM abilities appear to be related to overall language abilities rather than a more generalized ability in social cognition or executive function.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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