Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Alice S. Carter

Second Advisor

Abbey S. Eisenhower

Third Advisor

Karen L. Suyemoto


Despite advances in early detection of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the diagnostic prevalence of ASD remains disproportionately low among racial minority children from underprivileged demographic backgrounds. Subsequently, these children are vulnerable to being under-treated for ASD and miss out on opportunities for early intervention services under federal IDEA legislation (i.e., Part C Early Intervention (EI) programs), compared to more privileged non-Hispanic/Latinx White peers. Moreover, emerging evidence suggests that even with an ASD diagnosis, children from marginalized and underprivileged backgrounds remain at risk for being under-served and disenfranchised. Using data collected from a larger early screening study, the relation between family demographic characteristics and the amount of general and ASD-specialty EI service receipt were examined post-diagnosis. Findings revealed disparity in the amount of ASD-specialty EI service receipt among racial minority children from Hispanic/Latinx and Black/African American racial background. Child symptom severity and age of diagnosis were not associated with service outcome. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.


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