Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

E. Scott Huebner


The present study was informed by the Emerging Disability Paradigm, which emphasizes the importance of research regarding positive experiences, personality, and social relationships for individuals with disabilities (Schalock, 2004). The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary evidence regarding the reliability and validity of measures of self-reported psychosocial assets and life satisfaction (LS) for adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFA). Additional purposes included identifying the overall levels of general and domain-specific LS within adolescents with HFA, comparing these levels to those of a sample of typically developing adolescents, and describing the relation between psychosocial assets and LS for this sample. Sixty-four adolescents with HFA and their caregivers completed a series of questionnaires assessing LS and psychosocial assets. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the internal consistency reliability and validity of some positive psychology measures in adolescents with HFA. Additionally, the results indicated that youth with HFA reported moderate to high levels of LS, although these levels were significantly lower than those reported by their typically developing peers. Finally, adolescent age significantly moderated the relation between self-reported LS and self-reported Self-Awareness, Persistence, Empathy, and Family Coherence. However, age did not moderate the relationship between self-reported LS and caregiver-reported assets for youth with HFA. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.