Saturday, May 22, 2010
Franklin Hall B Level 4 (Philadelphia Marriott Downtown)10:00 AM
Background: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are more likely to have poor student-teacher relationships and negative school experiences compared to typically developing peers (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Positive student-teacher relationships and teacher-parent relationships are important factors in promoting successful academic, social, and behavioral outcomes for children with ASD (Birch & Ladd, 1997; Boyd et al. 2008, Kunce, 2003; Robertson, Chamberlain, & Kasari, 2003), and there are few parent report measures that assess these relationships. The Parent Perception Measure (PPM; Lauderdale & Blacher, 2008; Lauderdale, Howell, & Kaladjian, 2009) is a new measure that aims to understand the child-school experiences from the parent's perspective, by measuring the child's (a) School quality, (b) Socialization, (c) Teacher quality, and (d) Happiness. It also aims to assess parent-school experience by assessing (e) School Communication with the parent, and (f) Family involvement at school. Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to investigate the internal consistency and construct validity of the PPM with parents of youth with ASD. Based on prior psychometric analyses of the PPM (Lauderdale & Blacher, 2008; Lauderdale, Howell, & Kaladjian, 2009), we expect that child-school variables would be positively correlated with measures of social skills and negatively correlated with measures of autism symptomatology and maladaptive behavior. We also expected that the parent-school experience would be positively correlated with parent empowerment. Methods: As part of a larger Canadian online survey of bullying in youth with ASD, 200 parents (92% mothers) of children and youth 6-18 years of age (M = 11.1 years, SD = 3.4) completed the PPM. Participants also completed measures of prosocial and maladaptive behavior (Nisonger Child Behavior Rating Form; NCBRF; Aman, Tassť, Rojahn, & Hammer, 1996), ASD symptomatology (Autism Spectrum Quotient; ASQ; Auyeung et al., 2007), and family empowerment (Family Empowerment Scale; FES; Koren et al., 1992). All children were still in school, and 85% were male. Diagnoses of the children were reported by parents as follows: 47% Asperger syndrome, 38% Autism, and 15% PDD-NOS. Results: Tests of internal consistency revealed good to excellent Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the PPM subscales (.70 to .96). Preliminary analyses indicated that PPM Socialization and Happiness scores were significantly correlated with NCBRF Positive Social Domain (r = .40 to .45), NCBRF Overall Maladaptive Behaviors scores (r = -.45 to -.46), and ASQ Total scores (r = -.36 to -.41). Scores on the FES were significantly related to PPM School Communication, Family involvement, and Teacher quality scores (r = .22 to .30). Conclusions: Evidence suggests that the PPM can inform educators and researchers about parent perceptions of their child's school with respect to their child with ASD and their family functioning.