Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Benerd School of Education

First Advisor

Linda Webster, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Justin Low, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Christina Siller Alviso, Ph.D.


University of the Pacific 2023 This study was an attempt to better understand important mechanisms that may moderate the relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and negative outcomes such as anxiety and depression in females as they are diagnosed at a much lower rate and represent an underserved population. Using archival data from the National Institute of Mental Health this study investigated whether parental warmth and social competence were associated with decreased levels of anxiety and depression in 8-year-old females with ASD with average cognitive abilities. It was found that social competence was a significant factor in decreasing anxiety and depression. Surprisingly, parental warmth was not found to be significant. This research adds to the paucity of data relevant to autistic females with average and higher cognitive functioning. Potential interventions, as well as implications for future research are discussed.





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