Journal of Undergraduate Research


autism, topography, repetitive behavior, media attention


David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education


The prevalence of autism has received considerable media attention in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently assessed the prevalence of autism in children and determined that one in 68 children have autism.1

Our study analyzed functional behavior in families with one child with autism (simplex families) and in families with more than one child with autism (multiplex families). It also separated functional behavior assessments results by gender, since more children with autism are males, and by occurrence in families. These analyses had not been previously done. Our goal was to find these differences and to assess them.