Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychological Sciences

Committee Chair

David Rollock

Committee Member 1

Douglas B. Samuel

Committee Member 2

Bridgette L. Tonnsen

Committee Member 3

Amy J. Schwichtenberg


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that has become increasingly prevalent in cross-cultural literature. Despite the well-supported finding that culture informs perceptions, belief patterns, values, there is little research illuminating this association or the fundamental role of culture for understanding ASD as a whole. The present study investigated the relationships among knowledge of ASD, stigma related to ASD, and cultural values among self-identified Asian individuals living in the United States (N= 373). Exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) was used to examine model fit of ASD knowledge assessment and cultural values in this sample, as well as to investigate the relationship between specific aspects of ASD knowledge and stigma with Asian cultural value dimensions. Results revealed several significant cross-loadings across ASD knowledge, stigma, and specific aspects of cultural values, including significant loadings of ASD-related stigma onto relevant values among Asians. Implications and recommendations for future research on better assessment of these constructs are discussed.