This research studied the presence of PDA (an obsessional avoidance of life’s ordinary demands along with high skills of social manipulation) in typically developing children and those diagnosed with autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or anxiety disorders. Children with autism were hypothesized to have higher incidence of PDA than children without autism. Purposive sampling was used in participant recruitment. Findings should be understood within the indicated limitations. A sample of 78 participants responded to an on-line questionnaire that collected information on the presence of PDA. There was a statistically significant difference in the PDA scores for children with and without a clinical diagnosis (autism, ADHD, anxiety). Children diagnosed with autism had significantly different (higher) PDA scores than children without autism. No other comparisons were significant. The results support the hypothesis that children who have autism have more intense symptoms of PDA than those without autism.
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Thesis advisor: Williamson, Robert
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