Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Research Methods and Information Science, Research Methods and Statistics

First Advisor

Kathy E. Green, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Duan Zhang

Third Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth


High functioning Autism, Asperger's, Play, Self-esteem, Social competence, Social-emotional regulation, Social skills


Few scales exist that assess social competence in children with Asperger's and high functioning autism (AS/HFA). Due to the nature of the disorder, the current social competence measures that do exist are not designed to assess the social difficulties that many children with AS/HFA encounter. To meet this challenge a scale was developed to better understand social competence in children with AS/HFA, the Children's Social Competence Scale (CSCS). Two studies that report the development and initial validation of the scale were conducted with children between the ages of 3 and 8 with and without a diagnosis of AS/HFA. First, an exploratory factor analysis of an initial item pool yielded three factors assessing subscales of social skills, self-esteem, and social-emotional regulation. Second, a confirmatory factor analysis supported the CSCS three-factor structure. Third, test-retest reliability, internal consistency, and validity coefficients supported the viability, use, and potential for continued development of this new instrument. Finally, significant differences were found for sex and for diagnosis in the social skills, self-esteem, and social-emotional regulation subscales. Implications for theory and research on social competence in children are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Annette Irene Nuñez


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

153 p.


Quantitative Psychology and Psychometrics, Psychology, Educational Psychology