Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Cindy Juntunen


A Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Diagnosis is comprised of various levels of physical

dysmorphia and behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions. Early identification and diagnosis is difficult, requires specially trained practitioners and often results in the delay of receiving necessary services. This is particularly true for those individuals living in

underserved rural areas. However, screening children with commonly used assessment

tools may help to more quickly identify children who have been prenatally exposed to

alcohol. The purpose of the present study was to contribute to the development of a

neurobehavioral profile of alcohol-exposed children through examining if relationship

exists between verbal comprehension deficits and maladaptive behaviors across the

different FASD diagnostic categories. This study conducted a review of records of 178

individuals referred for an FASD evaluation who were suspected of being prenatally

exposed. This study supports previous findings indicating that lower cognitive

functioning and higher maladaptive behaviors co-occur in children suspected of prenatal

alcohol exposure. However, a more specific link between factices of verbal

comprehension and maladaptive behavior was not supported in this study. Post hoc

analysis of additional characteristics found in this group and implication for future

research are also discussed.