Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1969-1986

Stalking, and Social and Romantic Functioning Among Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Mark StokesAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University Email author 
  • , Naomi NewtonAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University
  • , Archana KaurAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University

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Abstract

We examine the nature and predictors of social and romantic functioning in adolescents and adults with ASD. Parental reports were obtained for 25 ASD adolescents and adults (13–36 years), and 38 typical adolescents and adults (13–30 years). The ASD group relied less upon peers and friends for social (OR = 52.16, p < .01) and romantic learning (OR = 38.25, p < .01). Individuals with ASD were more likely to engage in inappropriate courting behaviours (χ2 df = 19  =  3168.74, p < .001) and were more likely to focus their attention upon celebrities, strangers, colleagues, and ex-partners (χ2 df = 5 = 2335.40, p < .001), and to pursue their target longer than controls (t = −2.23, df = 18.79, p < .05). These results show that the diagnosis of ASD is pertinent when individuals are prosecuted under stalking legislation in various jurisdictions.

Keywords

Autism High-functioning-autism Social-skills Sexual behaviour Stalking