Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Klanderman, John


Developmentally disabled children; Gastrointestinal system--Diseases


Educational Psychology


The objective of this study was to gather information on the prevalence of the occurrence of gastrointestinal problems in a selected group of young children with pervasive developmental disorder. The purpose of this study was to learn more about the eating, sleeping, and toileting habits of the selected group of children with PDD; and identify how these habits may or may not relate to the behavior exhibited by the children.

The sample for the study consisted of 50 children with pervasive developmental disorder, ages 2.5 to 12 years of age. All of the children had a post-diagnosis of PDD for at least six months. The participants were recruited from two organizations located in New Jersey. The researcher developed a 47-item questionnaire specifically for the study.

The design of the study was conducted to establish the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms, as reported by caregivers, in 50 children with PDD. It was hypothesized that a positive relationship would exist between parental report of the occurrence of gastrointestinal problems and the eating, sleeping, and toileting behaviors of their child.