Date of Award


Document Type



Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Glena L. Andrews, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia Warford, Psy.D.


Despite the growing body of research for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) within adults, there remains a lack of research addressing the prevalence of FASD in the legal system. Over the last several decades it has become apparent that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have devastating long term impacts on the developing fetus including facial abnormalities, cognitive deficits, adverse life outcomes, and behavioral challenges (Brintnell et al., 2019; O’Neil, 2011; Sarman, 2018; Streissguth et al., 2004). Within the legal system, FASD is about 30 times higher than the general population (Lange et al., 2017). Initially, the prevalence of FASD was difficult to accurately track due to the lack of information regarding the mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy. One significant barrier in diagnosing FASD continues to be a systematic way to track and screen for FASD. This study examined the Behavioral Traits Survey: Self Report (DeVries et al., 2001) as a possible screener and the behavioral characteristics using the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991). Participants were 25 justice-involved adults, recruited online and referred through probation program. Each participant completed an online survey that included the Behavioral Traits Survey: Self Report and the PAI. Results verified there was a relationship between the Behavioral Traits Survey: Self Report and the antisocial, aggression, alcohol, and drug scales of the PAI. Higher scores on the scales of the PAI were found in adults with FAS behavioral profiles, highlighting need for assessments to screen for FASD to provide interventions to address clinical needs and reduce recidivism risk. Concerns about the validity of the Behavioral Traits Survey: Self Report and PAI are raised and the need for further reliability and validity studies on these measures are discussed.

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