Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1825–1832 | Cite as

Brief Report: Investigating Relations Between Self-Concept and Performance in Reading and Math for School-Aged Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • James B. McCauley
  • Matthew C. Zajic
  • Tasha M. Oswald
  • Lindsey E. Swain-Lerro
  • Nancy C. McIntyre
  • Michelle A. Harris
  • Kali Trzesniewski
  • Peter C. Mundy
  • Marjorie Solomon
Brief Report

Abstract

A typically developing student’s perceptions of his or her own capabilities (academic self-concept), is predictive of later academic achievement. However, little is known about academic self-concept in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To understand whether students math self-concept and reading self-concept predicted their performance, 44 school-aged children and adolescents with ASD and 36 age-matched individuals with typical development (TYP) rated their perceived math and reading abilities and were administered standardized achievement measures. Results showed self-concept was predictive of performance in math and reading in the TYP group. For youth with ASD, there was agreement between self-concept and performance only in math. These findings suggest that educators should be cautious when interpreting the self-assessments of reading ability in students with ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Academic self-concept Learning Reading competency Math competency Academic performance 

Notes

Funding

This study was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences grant IES R324A120168, the Tupin Grant from the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Lisa Capps endowment for educational research with children with higher functioning ASD from the UC Davis Department for Psychiatry and MIND Institute, and the MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (U54 HD079125).

Author Contributions

JM drafted the manuscript, performed statistical analyses and interpretation, and collected data for the study; MZ contributed to the coordination of the study, data collection, and drafting of the manuscript; TO participated in the coordination of the study, oversaw hiring and training of data collectors, and participated in the interpretation of the study results; LS-L participated in the design, recruitment, and coordination of the study and collected data; NM collaborated on the design of the study and collected data for the study; MH collaborated on the interpretation of the findings and drafting of the manuscript; KT collaborated on study design and the interpretation of the findings; PM designed and coordinated the study, and collaborated on statistical analyses and drafting the manuscript; MS oversaw statistical analyses, design, and collaborated on interpretation of findings and drafting of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

J. McCauley, M. Zajic, T. Oswald, L. Swain-Lerro, N. McIntyre, M. Harris, K. Trzesniewski, P. Mundy and M. Solomon declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Bandura, A. (1986). The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 4(3), 359–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brosnan, M., Johnson, H., Grawemeyer, B., Chapman, E., Antoniadou, K., & Hollinworth, M. (2016). Deficits in metacognitive monitoring in mathematics assessments in learners with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 20(4), 463–472.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen, P. P. (2002). Exploring the accuracy and predictability of the self-efficacy beliefs of seventh-grade mathematics students. Learning and Individual Differences, 14(1), 77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohen, G. L., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., & Master, A. (2006). Reducing the racial achievement gap: A social-psychological intervention. Science, 313(5791), 1307–1310.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Constantino, J. N., Davis, S. A., Todd, R. D., Schindler, M. K., Gross, M. M., Brophy, S. L., et al. (2003). Validation of a brief quantitative measure of autistic traits: Comparison of the social responsiveness scale with the autism diagnostic interview-revised. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(4), 427–433.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Craven, R. G., Marsh, H. W., & Debus, R. L. (1991). Effects of internally focused feedback and attributional feedback on enhancement of academic self-concept. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(1), 17–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ehlers, S., Gillberg, C., & Wing, L. (1999). A screening questionnaire for Asperger syndrome and other high-functioning autism spectrum disorders in school age children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29(2), 129–141.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Elbaum, B., & Vaughn, S. (2001). School-based interventions to enhance the self-concept of students with learning disabilities: A meta-analysis. The Elementary School Journal, 101(3), 303–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Estes, A., Rivera, V., Bryan, M., Cali, P., & Dawson, G. (2011). Discrepancies between academic achievement and intellectual ability in higher-functioning school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(8), 1044–1052.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Furlano, R., Kelley, E. A., Hall, L., & Wilson, D. E. (2015). Self-perception of competencies in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Research, 8, 761–770.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Grainger, C., Williams, D. M., & Lind, S. E. (2014). Metacognition, metamemory, and mindreading in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(3), 650.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Guay, F., Larose, S., & Boivin, M. (2004). Academic self-concept and educational attainment level: A ten-year longitudinal study. Self and Identity, 3(1), 53–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Häussler, P., & Hoffmann, L. (2002). An intervention study to enhance girls’ interest, self-concept, and achievement in physics classes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(9), 870–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. IBM Corp. (2015). IBM SPSS statistics for windows, version 23.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.Google Scholar
  15. Jones, C. R., Happé, F., Golden, H., Marsden, A. J., Tregay, J., Simonoff, E., et al. (2009). Reading and arithmetic in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: Peaks and dips in attainment. Neuropsychology, 23(6), 718.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kasari, C., & Smith, T. (2013). Interventions in schools for children with autism spectrum disorder: Methods and recommendations. Autism, 17(3), 254–267.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P. C., Risi, S., Gotham, K., & Bishop, S. (2012). Autism diagnostic observation schedule: ADOS-2. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  18. Marsh, H. W. (1992). Self Description Questionnaire (SDQ) II: A theoretical and empirical basis for the measurement of multiple dimensions of adolescent self-concept: An interim test manual and a research monograph. Macarthur: University of Western Sydney, Faculty of Education.Google Scholar
  19. Marsh, H. W., Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Köller, O., & Baumert, J. (2005). Academic self-concept, interest, grades, and standardized test scores: Reciprocal effects models of causal ordering. Child Development, 76(2), 397–416.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. McIntyre, M., Solari, E., Gonzales, J., Solomon, M., Swain-Lerro, L., Novotny, S., et al. (2017a). The scope and nature of reading comprehension impairments in higher functioning school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 2838–2860.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. McIntyre, N., Solari, E., Grimm, R., Swain-Lerro, L., Gonzalez, J., & Mundy, P. (2017b). A comprehensive examination of reading heterogeneity in students with high functioning autism: Distinct reading profiles and their relation to autism symptom severity. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(4), 1086–1101.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Minshew, N. J., Goldstein, G., Taylor, H. G., & Siegel, D. J. (1994). Academic achievement in high functioning autistic individuals. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 16(2), 261–270.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Miyake, A., Kost-Smith, L. E., Finkelstein, N. D., Pollock, S. J., Cohen, G. L., & Ito, T. A. (2010). Reducing the gender achievement gap in college science: A classroom study of values affirmation. Science, 330, 1234–1237.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Nation, K., Clarke, P., Wright, B., & Williams, C. (2006). Patterns of reading ability in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(7), 911–919.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. O’Mara, A. J., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., & Debus, R. L. (2006). Do self-concept interventions make a difference? A synergistic blend of construct validation and meta-analysis. Educational Psychologist, 41(3), 181–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Oswald, T. M., Beck, J. S., Iosif, A. M., McCauley, J. B., Gilhooly, L. J., Matter, J. C., et al. (2015). Clinical and cognitive characteristics associated with mathematics problem solving in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research.  https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1524.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Palincsar, A. S., & Brown, D. A. (1987). Enhancing instructional time through attention to metacognition. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 20(2), 66–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Rutter, M., Bailey, A., & Lord, C. (2003). The social communication questionnaire: Manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  29. Schunk, D. H., & Pajares, F. (2002). The development of academic self-efficacy. In A. Wigfield & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), Development of achievement motivation (pp. 16–31). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  30. Seaton, M., Parker, P., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., & Yeung, A. S. (2014). The reciprocal relations between self-concept, motivation and achievement: Juxtaposing academic self-concept and achievement goal orientations for mathematics success. Educational Psychology, 34(1), 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shell, D. F., Murphy, C. C., & Bruning, R. H. (1989). Self-efficacy and outcome expectancy mechanisms in reading and writing achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(1), 91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Urdan, T., & Schoenfelder, E. (2006). Classroom effects on student motivation: Goal structures, social relationships, and competence beliefs. Journal of School Psychology, 44(5), 331–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Valentine, J. C., DuBois, D. L., & Cooper, H. (2004). The relation between self-beliefs and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 111–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Verhoeven, E., Marijnissen, N., Berger, H., Oudshoorn, J., Van Der Sijde, A., & Teunisse, J. (2012). Brief report: Relationship between self-awareness of real-world behavior and treatment outcome in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(5), 889–894.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Wahlberg, T., & Magliano, J. P. (2004). The ability of high function individuals with autism to comprehend written discourse. Discourse Processes, 38(1), 119–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wechsler, D. (2010). Wechsler individual achievement test (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson.Google Scholar
  37. Wechsler, D., & Hsiao-Pin, C. (2011). WASI-II: Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence. San Antonio, TX: Pearson.Google Scholar
  38. Wehmeyer, M. L., Shogren, K. A., Zager, D., Smith, T. E., & Simpson, R. (2010). Research-based principles and practices for educating students with autism: Self-determination and social interactions. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45, 475–486.Google Scholar
  39. Wei, X., & Marder, C. (2012). Self-concept development of students with disabilities: Disability category, gender, and racial differences from early elementary to high school. Remedial and Special Education, 33(4), 247–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wiederholt, J. L., & Bryant, B. R. (2012). Gray oral reading tests––Fifth edition (GORT-5). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  41. Wojcik, D. Z., Moulin, C. J., & Souchay, C. (2013). Metamemory in children with autism: Exploring “feeling-of-knowing” in episodic and semantic memory. Neuropsychology, 27(1), 19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Zajic, M., McIntyre, N., Swain-Lerro, L., Oswald, T., & Mundy, P. (2016). Written communication expression in higher-functioning, school-age children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361316675121.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • James B. McCauley
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Matthew C. Zajic
    • 4
  • Tasha M. Oswald
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lindsey E. Swain-Lerro
    • 4
  • Nancy C. McIntyre
    • 4
  • Michelle A. Harris
    • 3
  • Kali Trzesniewski
    • 3
  • Peter C. Mundy
    • 2
    • 4
  • Marjorie Solomon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of California-DavisSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.University of California Davis Health System, MIND InstituteSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human EcologyUniversity of California-DavisDavisUSA
  4. 4.School of EducationUniversity of California-DavisDavisUSA
  5. 5.Imaging Research CenterUniversity of California-DavisSacramentoUSA

Personalised recommendations