Term of Award

Summer 2025

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 1

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 2

Nicolette Rickert


Resilience is the way in which an individual positively adapts to challenging or difficult life experiences. This process is marked by adjustments to external and internal demands through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility. Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Although grit and resilience have been researched in children and adolescents, there is a gap in the literature for how these variables relate to developmental disorders, like autism spectrum disorder, in children and adolescents. This study aimed to explore the relationship between autism spectrum disorder and internalizing and externalizing symptoms and whether grit and resilience moderates these relationships. Based on the literature, it was hypothesized that children with higher severity levels of autism would experience more internalizing and externalizing symptoms and lower levels of grit and resilience. Participants seeking a diagnostic assessment for their child at a private practice completed parent-report measures of these constructs agreed to volunteer for this study. A MANOVA showed a significant group difference for autism spectrum disorder and externalizing symptoms, but not for internalizing symptoms or grit and resilience. Children with reported higher levels of grit and resilience had lower levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms.

Research Data and Supplementary Material