Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Koch, Darwin


This study aimed to evaluate the effects of defusion and contact with the present moment activities on psychological flexibility and maladaptive behaviors in youths with Autism. This study used a multi-element research design, with randomized controlled trials. Each component was isolated and tested on its utility and effectiveness towards decreasing maladaptive behavior and increasing psychological flexibility. The questionnaires implemented were Child Acceptance and Mindfulness Measurements (CAMM) and Acceptance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y8). The participants completed these evaluation tools at the beginning and at the end of the intervention. This study utilized the concepts of defusion and contact with the present moment through metaphors, experiential activities, and discussions. The researcher gave the participants two options for their intervention delivery medium: over telehealth or in-person. This study extended research that evidenced further validity of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in youths with Autism and translated through a technology medium to allow maximum accessibility and inclusivity of all participants. The current research drawn from this study displays promising results, specifically in decreasing inflexible behavior and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).




This thesis is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.