Web-based Assessment of Social–Emotional Skills in School-Aged Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Nicole M. Russo-Ponsaran, Matthew D. Lerner, Clark McKown, Rebecca J. Weber, Ashley Karls, Erin Kang, Samantha L. Sommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Few tools are available to comprehensively describe the unique social–emotional skill profiles of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study describes the usability, reliability, and validity of SELweb, a normed, web-based assessment designed to measure four core social–emotional domains, when used to measure these skills in a sample of 57 well-characterized youth with ASD (ages 6–10 years with IQ ≥ 80). SELweb measures facial emotion recognition, theory of mind, social problem solving, and self-control. SELweb was well tolerated and yielded scores with reliabilities comparable to those found in normative samples. SELweb scores showed good evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for three of the four skills it was designed to assess. Mean deficits were found for theory of mind, social problem solving, and self-control, whereas no mean deficits were found for emotion recognition. Individual profiles varied considerably, suggesting the sensitivity of SELweb to the within- and between-person individual differences among youth with ASD. Findings support the usefulness and accessibility of SELweb as a tool for measuring complex social–emotional skill profiles in youth with ASD. Autism Res 2019, 12: 1260–1271.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1260-1271
Number of pages12
JournalAutism Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • assessment
  • autism
  • emotion recognition
  • self-control
  • social problem solving
  • theory of mind


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