College Students’ Openness Toward Autism Spectrum Disorders: Improving Peer Acceptance
One probable consequence of rising rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in individuals without co-occurring intellectual disability is that more young adults with diagnoses or traits of ASD will attend college and require appropriate supports. This study sought to explore college students’ openness to peers who demonstrate ASD-characteristic behaviors. Results showed a significant difference in openness between students who had a first-degree relative with an ASD (n = 18) and a gender-matched comparison group of students without such experience (F = 4.85, p = .035). Engineering and physical science majors did not demonstrate more overall openness. Universities should make efforts to prevent social isolation of students with ASD, such as programs to educate students about ASD and supports to ease college transition.
KeywordsAutism College student Adult Openness Acceptance College transition
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. (text revision).Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The Autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(1), 5–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010). Education pays… [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm.
- Carneiro, P. (2010). The economic importance of social skills: A short (and selective) survey of recent research. In C. Cooper, J. Field, U. Goswami, R. Jenkins, & B. Sahakian (Eds.), Capital and wellbeing (pp. 389–393). London: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders-Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2006. MMWR Surveill Summ, 58 (SS-10).Google Scholar
- Gilmore, D., Bose, J., & Hart, D. (2002). Vocational rehabilitation and postsecondary education. Boston: Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston.Google Scholar
- Glickman, J. (2010). U.S. secretary of education Duncan announces $10.9 million in awards under new programs that help students with intellectual disabilities transition to postsecondary education. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-secretary-education-duncan-announces-109-million-awards-under-new-programs-he.
- Grigal, M. (2009). The postsecondary education research center project. Unpublished raw data. Rockville, MD: TransCen.Google Scholar
- Ho, A. (2008). The effect of classroom-based DIR treatment on young children with autism: IEP goals, parents’ and educational professionals’ sense of coherence. Dissertation Abstracts International, 69(6-B), 3847.Google Scholar
- Hofvander, B., Delorme, R., Chaste, P., Nyden, A., Wentz, E., Stahlsberg, O., et al. (2009). Psychiatric and psychosocial problems in adults with normal-intelligence autism spectrum disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 9(35), 1–9.Google Scholar
- Kelly, A., Garnett, M., Attwood, T., & Peterson, C. (2008). Autism spectrum symptomatology in children: The impact of family and peer relationships. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology: An official publication of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 36(7), 1069–1081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lerman, D., Sansbury, T., Hovanetz, A., Wolever, E., Garcia, A., O’Brien, E., et al. (2008). Using behavior analysis to examine the outcomes of unproven therapies: An evaluation of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for children with autism. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 1(2), 50–58.Google Scholar
- Lundine, V., & Smith, C. (Eds.). (2006). Career training and personal planning for students with autism spectrum disorders: A practical resource for schools. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
- Mahoney, D. (2008). College students’ attitudes toward individuals with autism. Dissertation Abstracts International, 68(11-B), 7672.Google Scholar
- Migliore, A., Butterworth, J., & Hart, D. (2009). Postsecondary education and employment outcomes for youth with intellectual disabilities (Fast Facts Series, No. 1). Boston, MA: Institute for Community Inclusion.Google Scholar
- Naoi, N. (2009). Intervention and treatment methods for children with autism spectrum disorders. In J. Matson (Ed.), Applied behavior analysis for children with autism spectrum disorders (pp. 67–81). New York: Springer Science + Business Media.Google Scholar
- Petalas, M., Hastings, R., Nash, S., Dowey, A., & Reilly, D. (2009). “I like that he always shows who he is”: The perceptions and experiences of siblings with a brother with autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 56(4), 381–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robertson, S., & Ne’eman, D. (2008). Autistic acceptance, the college campus, and technology: Growth of neurodiversity in society and academia. Disability Studies Quarterly, 28(4). Available at http://www.dsq-sds.org/article/view/146/146.
- Shields, S. (1995). The role of emotion beliefs and values in gender development. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Social development (pp. 212–232). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Stodden, R., & Zucker, S. (2004). Transition of youth with disabilities to postsecondary education. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 39(1), 3–5.Google Scholar
- Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- United States Department of Education. (2003). Archived: College transition programs. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/hsinit/papers/trans.pdf.
- Welkowitz, L. A., & Baker, L. J. (2005). Supporting college students with Asperger’s syndrome. In L. A. Welkowitz & L. J. Baker (Eds.), Asperger’s syndrome: Intervening in schools, clinics, and communities (pp. 173–187). Mahwah, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. Mass and London: Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar