Kayleigh E. Hay, Psy.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara

Dr. Kayleigh E. Hay, Psy.D.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Salvador Treviño, Ph.D., Dissertation Chair
  • Denise Mock, Ph.D., Second Faculty
  • Sarah de Los Santos, Psy.D., BCBA-D, External Expert


Phenomenology, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Father Involvement, fathers, parenting, coping behavior, parental involvement

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Children in America are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at rates that are much greater than in previous decades. There is an abundance of research that is being conducted to try and discover the cause of this neurodevelopmental disorder and the interventions that are useful in treating it. It is classified as a spectrum disorder because there is such a large range of severity levels. Similarly, there is a large range of involvement levels by fathers of children with autism. Much research has been done on maternal experiences, leaving a lack of knowledge regarding fathers and how and why they may or may not be involved in the life of their child with autism. This qualitative, phenomenological study sought to understand the lived experience of a father with a child who has autism and how coping skills, parenting styles, and cultural backgrounds may impact how much time a father chooses to be involved with that child. The data was collected through an interview process, The Brief COPE Inventory, and The Parental Authority Questionnaire-Revised. As a result of the analysis of this data, themes emerged; active coping styles and authoritative/flexible parenting styles seemed to allow for a father to be more actively involved in their child’s daily life. In addition, cultural backgrounds may or may not effect involvement levels, but they do likely impact how a father perceives Autism Spectrum Disorder and the symptoms that accompany it. The results of this study contribute the current research in the field of autism and how fathers can be assisted in being involved more in the lives and intervention processes of their children with autism. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the Ohiolink ETD center


Kaylie E. Hay, PsyD

ORCID Scholar Number: 0000-0003-2347-9424

Kayleigh Hay received her PsyD from Antioch University Santa Barbara in 2016. Throughout her clinical training experience, Kayleigh has developed a passion for working with individuals with disabilities and has a desire to contribute to the research within the field of autism studies. She has had the privilege of working with a diverse population of individuals. Kayleigh started her work seven years ago as a behavior interventionist working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). At her first practicum site, Kayleigh received training at Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF) in Los Angeles, CA, working with children ages 0-3 and their families while they received services for developmental disabilities. After completing her time at ECF, Kayleigh completed her second practicum training experience working in the student counseling office at Brooks University with adults suffering from a number of different disorders including mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Kayleigh recently completed her pre-doctoral internship at Life Skills Treatment Program. At this location, she worked in a day program setting with adults diagnosed with both developmental disabilities and psychotic disorders. Kayleigh enjoyed her time providing psychological support for these individuals suffering from a wide range of conditions, which included depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, and aggression towards themselves and others. The cumulative experiences of her working closely with diverse families and individuals over her years of training inspired her to complete her doctoral dissertation entitled, Factors Influencing Father Involvement with Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kayleigh is excited to announce that she will be joining the clinical team at Autism Center for Treatment (ACT), beginning October of 2016, and will be providing psychological services to children, conducting assessments in order to facilitate early diagnoses and interventions, providing parent training for parents and families with a child diagnosed with a disability, and performing clinical supervision on intervention teams helping children diagnosed with autism. During this time, Kayleigh is also planning on sitting for the Board Certification exam in order to become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) in early 2017.