Informant Discrepancies in the Assessment of Adaptive Behavior of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Allyson K. Jordan
  • Marcus L. ThomeerEmail author
  • Christopher Lopata
  • James P. Donnelly
  • Jonathan D. Rodgers
  • Christin A. McDonald
Original Paper


This study examined informant discrepancies for parent and teacher adaptive behavior ratings of 103 children, ages 6–12 years, with ASD (without intellectual disability). Scores on the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, third edition (Harrison and Oakland, Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles, 2015) General Adaptive Composite (GAC) and practical, social, and conceptual domains were examined for mean differences, level of agreement, and moderators of difference scores between informant groups. Teacher scores were significantly higher (indicating better functioning) than parents for the GAC and practical domain. Parent and teacher scores were moderately correlated and Bland–Altman plots and regression analyses revealed no systematic differences in parent–teacher agreement across the range of scores. None of the tested variables moderated the parent–teacher difference scores. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.


ASD Informant discrepancies Adaptive behavior 



The authors would like to acknowledge Gregory A. Fabiano, PhD, and Amanda B. Nickerson, PhD, for their input and assistance on the study.

Author Contributions

AKJ participated in the design, compiled the data, conducted some of the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript; MLT participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript; CL conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript; JPD participated in the design, led the statistical analyses, and helped to draft the manuscript; JDR participated in the design, coordinated the data compilation and management, and helped to draft the manuscript; CAM participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and helped compile the data and draft the manuscript.


This research was supported by Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences Grant R324A130216. Findings and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allyson K. Jordan
    • 1
  • Marcus L. Thomeer
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christopher Lopata
    • 2
  • James P. Donnelly
    • 2
  • Jonathan D. Rodgers
    • 2
  • Christin A. McDonald
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Counseling, School and Educational PsychologyUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Autism ResearchCanisius CollegeBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Nationwide Children’s HospitalWestervilleUSA

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