Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education, School Psychology, and Human Services

First Committee Member

Samuel Song

Second Committee Member

Katherine Lee

Third Committee Member

Scott Loe

Fourth Committee Member

Joshua Baker

Number of Pages



Background: Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience internalizing problems, and there was evidence suggesting that poor executive function (EF) predicted their internalizing problems. However, this association was primarily found in studies with male children with ASD. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate gender differences in internalizing problems and everyday EF in ASD children (age 5-15) and examined the associations between internalizing problems and everyday EF.Method: This study examined neuropsychological assessment data of ASD children without intellectual disability. The study consisted of two groups: 1. ASD boys (n = 44), 2. ASD girls (n = 15). The study examined gender differences in internalizing problems and everyday EF using one-way multivariate analysis of covariance, and the associations between the two variables were examined using third-order partial correlation analysis. Results: The study showed that a considerable number of ASD children had challenges related to internalizing problems and everyday EF. Furthermore, a significant gender difference was found in everyday EF, such that ASD girls had significantly more problems with behavior regulation than ASD boys. Lastly, a significant association was found only between behavior regulation and depressive problems, while emotion regulation did not have significant associations with internalizing problems in the sample. Conclusions: This study demonstrated potential gender differences in ASD-related challenges, and many ASD children require interventions specifically targeting underlying factors influencing emotional and behavioral challenges in school settings.


anxiety problems; autism spectrum disorder; behavior rating inventory of executive function; depressive problems; executive function; internalizing problems



Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit

Included in

Psychology Commons