Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Sara Jordan

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Tammy Barry

Committee Member 3

Nora Charles

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Randolph Arnau

Committee Member 4 School



Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and manifests in social communication impairment and restricted, repetitive behaviors (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Although accurate information about ASD is available through a variety of sources, this access to information may not translate into increased knowledge in parents, teachers, and medical professionals. A Survey of Knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASK-ASD) was initially established as a reliable, valid measure of perceived and actual knowledge of ASD (Hansen, 2015). The current study evaluated the psychometric properties (i.e., factor structure, reliability, and validity) of the ASK-ASD in a sample of parents, teachers, and medical students. The two-factor structure was not well-supported by a confirmatory factor analysis. Additionally, the ASK-ASD received mixed support for reliability and validity. Analyses of differences between actual knowledge levels among the three groups revealed no significant differences, suggesting the parents, teachers, and medical students had relatively similar levels of actual ASD knowledge. Exploratory analyses also examined the relation between ASD knowledge and various demographic characteristics (e.g., race, income level, relationship status) as well as group-specific factors (parenting efficacy, teacher efficacy, and characteristics of the imposter phenomenon). Limitations of the study included difficulties recruiting equal groups, as well as the online method of data collection.