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The experience of friendship, victimization and bullying in children with an autism spectrum disorder: associations with child characteristics and school placement

Rowley, E., Chandler, S., Baird, G., Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Loucas, T. and Charman, T. (2012) The experience of friendship, victimization and bullying in children with an autism spectrum disorder: associations with child characteristics and school placement. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6 (3). pp. 1126-1134. ISSN 1750-9467

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2012.03.004

Abstract/Summary

Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be vulnerable to social isolation and bullying. We measured the friendship, fighting/bullying and victimization experiences of 10–12-year-old children with an ASD (N = 100) using parent, teacher and child self-report. Parent and teacher reports were compared to an IQ-matched group of children with special educational needs (SEN) without ASD (N = 80) and UK population data. Parents and teachers reported a lower prevalence of friendships compared to population norms and to children with SEN without an ASD. Parents but not teachers reported higher levels of victimization than the SEN group. Half of the children with an ASD reported having friendships that involved mutuality. By teacher report children with an ASD who were less socially impaired in mainstream school experienced higher levels of victimization than more socially impaired children; whereas for more socially impaired children victimization did not vary by school placement. Strategies are required to support and improve the social interaction skills of children with an ASD, to enable them to develop and maintain meaningful peer friendships and avoid victimization.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:38601
Uncontrolled Keywords:Autism spectrum disorders; Friendship; Bullying; Victimization; School placement
Publisher:Elsevier

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