Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1757-1767

First online:

Prevalence and Correlates of Screen-Based Media Use Among Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Micah O. MazurekAffiliated withDepartment of Health Psychology, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Missouri Email author 
  • , Paul T. ShattuckAffiliated withGeorge Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University
  • , Mary WagnerAffiliated withSRI International
  • , Benjamin P. CooperAffiliated withGeorge Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University

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Anecdotal reports indicate that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often preoccupied with television, computers, and video games (screen-based media). However, few studies have examined this issue. The current study examined screen-based media use among a large, nationally representative sample of youths participating in the National Longitudinal Transition Study—2 (NLTS2). The majority of youths with ASD (64.2%) spent most of their free time using non-social media (television, video games), while only 13.2% spent time on social media (email, internet chatting). Compared with other disability groups (speech/language impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities), rates of non-social media use were higher among the ASD group, and rates of social media use were lower. Demographic and symptom-specific correlates were also examined.


Autism Autism spectrum disorder Video game Television Internet