The purpose of the current study is to investigate whether adults with a diagnosis of autism tend to display more notable deficits in certain areas of competency measurement than others as measured by their performance on the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Criminal Adjudication (MacCAT-CA) and the Judgment In Legal Contexts (JILC) Instrument, as well as look at the impact that theory of mind (as measured by the A-ToM [Adult-Theory of Mind] instrument) and measured intelligence (derived from previous IQ testing) may have on competence-related abilities. A trained doctoral student will facilitate study session procedures via Zoom. This study seeks to contribute to the scarce research on the unique effects of autism on competence-related abilities.
What are the goals of the study?
The researcher will explore whether this population displays a notable pattern in scores on the various facets of competency to stand trial. Deficits in theory of mind will be explored in terms of their relation to performance on competency measures. This information will collectively help inform the relationship between autism and competency to stand trial and perhaps be used to inform improved competency evaluations and procedures for this population in the future.
What will happen during the visit or online?
Results of previous IQ testing will be requested directly from the participant (no contact with their medical providers). If the participant is unable/unwilling to obtain and share this information with the researcher, the abbreviated version of the WASI-II will be administered to obtain an estimate of their IQ. On Zoom, participants will be administered the A-ToM, MacCAT-CA, and JILC. The A-ToM requires participants to view a series of videos and provide verbal responses to a series of prompts. The MacCAT-CA and JILC are both interview-style measures.
How will this help families?
The information collected in this study will help inform the relationship between autism and competency to stand trial and perhaps be used to inform improved competency evaluations and procedures for this population in the future.