Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 195-205

Children's Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions Toward a Peer with Autistic Behaviors: Does a Brief Educational Intervention Have an Effect?

  • Karen F. SwaimAffiliated withThe University of Memphis
  • , Sam B. MorganAffiliated withThe University of Memphis

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This study examined children's ratings of attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a peer presented with or without autistic behaviors. The impact of information about autism on these ratings was investigated as well as age and gender effects. Third- and sixth-grade children (N = 233) were randomly assigned to view a video of the same boy in one of three conditions: No Autism, Autism, or Autism/Information. Children at both grade levels showed less positive attitudes toward the child in the two autism conditions. In rating their own behavioral intentions, children showed no differences between conditions. However, in attributing intentions to their classmates, older children and girls gave lower ratings to the child in the autism conditions. Information about autism did not affect ratings of either attitudes or behavioral intentions as ascribed to self or others.

Autism autistic disorder attitudes behavioral intentions