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      Evaluating Kupferstein’s claims of the relationship of behavioral intervention to PTSS for individuals with autism

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          Kupferstein (2018) surveyed 460 respondents and found that 46 percent of respondents met the diagnostic threshold for posttraumatic stress disorder after exposure to applied-behavior-analysis-based intervention. The purpose of this paper is to provide an evaluation a critical analysis of Kupferstein (2018) including the experimental methods and discussion of the results.


          The authors evaluated the Kupferstein’s methodological rigor with respect to the use of hypothesis testing, use of indirect measures, selection of respondents, ambiguity in definitions, measurement system, and framing of the experimental question when conducting the correlational analysis in addition to Kupferstein’s analysis and discussion of the results.


          Based upon the analysis, Kupferstein’s results should be viewed with extreme caution due to several methodological and conceptual flaws including, but not limited to, leading questions used within a non-validated survey, failure to confirm diagnosis, and incomplete description of interventions.


          It is the authors’ hope that this analysis provides caregivers, clinicians, and service providers with a scientific lens which will useful in viewing the limitations and methodological flaws of Kupferstein.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Psychometric properties of the PTSD Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (PCL-5) in veterans.

          This study examined the psychometric properties of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (PCL-5; Weathers, Litz, et al., 2013b) in 2 independent samples of veterans receiving care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center (N = 468). A subsample of these participants (n = 140) was used to define a valid diagnostic cutoff score for the instrument using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5; Weathers, Blake, et al., 2013) as the reference standard. The PCL-5 test scores demonstrated good internal consistency (α = .96), test-retest reliability (r = .84), and convergent and discriminant validity. Consistent with previous studies (Armour et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2014), confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the data were best explained by a 6-factor anhedonia model and a 7-factor hybrid model. Signal detection analyses using the CAPS-5 revealed that PCL-5 scores of 31 to 33 were optimally efficient for diagnosing PTSD (κ(.5) = .58). Overall, the findings suggest that the PCL-5 is a psychometrically sound instrument that can be used effectively with veterans. Further, by determining a valid cutoff score using the CAPS-5, the PCL-5 can now be used to identify veterans with probable PTSD. However, findings also suggest the need for research to evaluate cluster structure of DSM-5. (PsycINFO Database Record
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            Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(3), 205-223
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              Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders


                Author and article information

                Advances in Autism
                Emerald Publishing
                04 October 2018
                16 October 2018
                : 4
                : 3
                : 122-129
                Autism Special Interest Group, Seal Beach, California, USA
                Author notes
                Justin Barrett Leaf is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: Jblautpar@aol.com
                616991 AIA-02-2018-0007.pdf AIA-02-2018-0007
                © Justin Barrett Leaf, Robert K. Ross, Joseph H. Cihon and Mary Jane Weiss

                This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 33, Pages: 9, Words: 4793
                e-viewpoint, Viewpoint
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-LID, Learning & intellectual disabilities
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