Johnny Matson, Professor

Distinguished Research Master

MatsonOffice: 107 Audubon Hall
Department of Psychology
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Office Phone: (225) 578-8745

View the Autism and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Research Lab webpage.

Dr. Matson is not accepting new students at this time. 

Research Interests

My interests have focused on the development of assessment and treatment methods in the fields of intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. I have over 800 publications including 41 books on mental retardation, autism, and severe emotional disorders. I am a 3 time recipient of the Thomson Reuters World's Most Influential Scientific Minds and a 2 time recipient of the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers awards.

Former doctoral students have taken positions in state developmental centers or as faculty in academic departments. Academic departments have included Johns Hopkins University Medical School, University of Oregon, Ohio State University, University of Georgia, University of Maryland Medical School, Western Michigan University, Mississippi State University, Auburn University, Indiana University Medical School, and University of Illinois Medical School, among others.


I presently teach the following courses:

  • PSYC 4176 Advanced Child Psychology
  • PSYC 7688 Child Psychology Practicum

Representative Publications


Matson, J. L. (2015). Comorbid conditions among children with autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer.

Matson, J. L., & Matson, M. L. (2015). Comorbid conditions in children with intellectual disabilities. New York: Springer.

Tarbox, J., Dixon, D., Sturmey, P., & Matson, J. L. (2014). Handbook of early intervention and autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer.

Matson, J. L. (2012). Functional assessment for challenging behaviors. New York: Springer.

Matson, J. L., & Sturmey, P. (2011). International handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. New York: Springer.

Matson, J.L. (2009). Practitioner's guide to applied behavior analysis for children with autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer.

Matson, J.L., Andrasik, F., & Matson, M.L. (2009). Assessing childhood psychopathology and developmental disabilities. New York: Springer


Horovitz, M. & Matson, J. L. (2014). The Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits- Part 1: Age-based scoring procedures. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26, 1-22.

Sipes, M., & Matson, J. L. (2014). Factor structure for Autism Spectrum Disorders with Toddlers using DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 636-647.

Matson, J. L., Adams, H. L., Williams, L. W., & Rieske, R. D. (2013). Why are there so many unsubstantiated treatments in autism? Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7, 466-474.

Matson, J. L., & Williams, L. (2013). Differential diagnosis and co-morbidity: Distinguishing autism and other mental health issues.Neuropsychiatry, 3, 233-244.

Kozlowski, A. M., Matson, J. L., Horovitz, M., Worley, J. A., & Neal, D. (2011). Parents’ first concerns of their child’s development in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 14, 72-78.

Matson, J. L., & Hess, J. (2011). Psychotropic drug effects for persons with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 230-236.

Matson, J. L., Wilkins, J., & Fodstad, J. C. (2011). The validity of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT Part 1). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 1139-1146.

Matson, J. L., Neal, D., Fodstad, J. C., Hess, J. A., Mahan, S., & Rivet, T. (2010). Reliability and validity of the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters (MESSY). Behavior Modification, 34, 539-558.

Matson, J. L. (1977). Simple correction for treating an autistic boy's encopresis.

Journal Editorship

Editor-in-Chief, Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. New York, USA: Springer.

Associate Editor, Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities. London, England: Taylor and Francis.

Past and Present Organizations and Awards

Consultant, ICD 11

American Psychological Association (Fellow)

Past President, Division 33—Mental Retardation

Executive Committee, Division 33—Child and Youth Services

American Psychological Society (Fellow)

American Association on Mental Retardation (Fellow)

President, American Association on Mental Retardation, Psychology Division

Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Board of Directors DSM-III Task Force

Career Research Award, National Association on Dual Diagnosis

Early Career Research Award, National Academy of Education

Best Book in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, American Association of Publishers

World Congress on Behavior Therapy—Key Note Speaker

20th Century Award, American Association on Mental Retardation


highly cited researcher