Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Ellen L. Usher


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is currently one of the most researched of all childhood developmental disorders and is receiving attention in many domains including popular media, social sciences, education, and medicine. The purpose of this dissertation was to design and provide initial psychometric evidence for a scale that measures police officer self-efficacy for working with individuals with ASD. Psychometric properties of a scale designed to measure knowledge of ASD were also explored. Data from 620 police officers actively serving in the United States were collected in two separate phases. A 13-item scale was created to measure police officer self-efficacy for working with individuals with ASD. Results from both phases indicated that the scale represented a unidimensional construct. Police officer knowledge of ASD was significantly and positively related to self-efficacy. Knowing more about officers’ knowledge and beliefs in their own capabilities to work with individuals with ASD can help inform future police education and training efforts.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)