Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Jane Roberts


Adolescents and young adults with fragile X syndrome (FXS) typically report a range of comorbid, impairing conditions including cognitive deficits, autism, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Similarly these individuals experience social problems and very low levels of proficiency in independent living, which makes it extremely important to better understand what contributes to these deficits and how to potentially intervene and improve outcomes. Despite this importance, very little attention has been paid to the developmental period of adolescence in the FXS population. In addition, no previous work has utilized specific narrow band measures to probe for ADHD symptoms and instead has relied on broad-band measures. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the prevalence of ADHD symptoms within a sample of adolescent and young adult males with FXS and the impact that ADHD symptoms have on socialization and independence when controlling for autism and IQ. Results suggested that ADHD was not related to any of the outcomes when controlling for autism and IQ. However, higher levels autism severity were related to lower levels of adolescent independence, reiterating previous research documenting the impairment autism has on independence in adolescents with FXS. Additionally, the results provided ADHD prevalence rates in adolescents and young adults with FXS through the employment of a narrow-band measure. Finally, the study developed an adolescent scale of independence to better capture levels of independence in comparison to measures created for adults. Implications of findings, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.


© 2016, Marjorie Lee Grefer