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Nicole Matthews, Ph.D.

Director of Research

« SARRC Research Department

Key Research Interests

Dr. Matthews’ research program includes multiple lines of research with a broad goal of improving quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Her recent research includes: (1) development and testing of adaptive functioning and social skills interventions for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder; (2) the development of novel methods for improving access to autism screening and evaluation, and (3) evaluation of original SARRC programs. Dr. Matthews is also the supervisor of the PEERS program at SARRC and is a certified PEERS provider. 


  • B.A. Psychology
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A. Social Ecology
  • Ph.D. Developmental Psychology
    University of California, Irvine
  • Post-Doctoral Training
    Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC)


Selected Publications

  • Matthews, N. L., Christenson, K., Kiefer, S., & Smith, C. J. (2021). A mixed-methods examination of the gap between intelligence and adaptive functioning in autistic young adults without intellectual disability. Autism, Online ahead of print. doi:10.1177/13623613211018334 
  • Matthews, N. L., Skepnek, E., Mammen, M., James, J., Malligo, A., Lyons, A., Mitchell, M., Kiefer, S., & Smith, C. J. (2021). Feasibility and Acceptability of a Telehealth Model for Autism Diagnostic Evaluations in Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Autism Research.  
  • Matthews, N. L., Orr, B. C., Warriner, K., De Carlo, M., Sorensen, M., Laflin, J., & Smith, C. J. (2018). Exploring the Effectiveness of a Peer-Mediated Model of the PEERS Curriculum: A Pilot Randomized Control Trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 2458–2475. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3504-2  
  • Matthews, N. L., Laflin, J., Orr, B. C., Warriner, K., DeCarlo, M., & Smith, C. J. (2019). Brief report: Effectiveness of an accelerated version of the PEERS social skills intervention for adolescents. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-03939-9 
  • Matthews, N. L., Smith, C. J., Pollard, E., Ober-Reynolds, S., Kirwan, J., & Malligo, A. (2015). Adaptive functioning profiles in autism spectrum disorder during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 2349-2360. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2400-2  
  • Smith, C. J., Rozga, A. R., Matthews, N. L., Oberlietner, R., Nazneen, N., Abowd, G. (2016). Investigating the accuracy of a novel telehealth diagnostic approach for autism spectrum disorder. Psychological Assessment. pas0000317 
Nicole Matthews, PhD