Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1619–1628 | Cite as

College Students’ Openness Toward Autism Spectrum Disorders: Improving Peer Acceptance

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Autism College student Adult Openness Acceptance College transition 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. (text revision).Google Scholar
  2. Austin, E. J. (2005). Personality correlates of the broader autism phenotype as assessed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 451–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 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
  4. Baron-Cohen, S., Wright, S., Stott, C., Bolton, P., & Goodyer, I. (1998). Engineering and autism: Exploring the link further: Reply to Wolff, Braunsberg and Islam. Autism, 2(1), 98–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Billstedt, E., Gillberg, I., & Gillberg, C. (2007). Autism in adults: Symptom patterns and early childhood predictors. Use of the DISCO in a community sample followed from childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(11), 1102–1110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brody, L. (1985). Gender differences in emotional development: A review of theories and research. Journal of Personality, 53(2), 102–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010). Education pays… [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm.
  8. Campbell, J., Ferguson, J., Herzinger, C., Jackson, J., & Marino, C. (2005). Peers’ attitudes toward autism differ across sociometric groups: An exploratory investigation. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 17(3), 281–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Eaves, L. C., & Ho, H. H. (2008). Young adult outcome of autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 739–747.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fombonne, E. (1999). The epidemiology of autism: A review. Psychological Medicine: A Journal of Research in Psychiatry and the Allied Sciences, 29(4), 769–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilmore, D., Bose, J., & Hart, D. (2002). Vocational rehabilitation and postsecondary education. Boston: Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston.Google Scholar
  14. 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.
  15. Grigal, M. (2009). The postsecondary education research center project. Unpublished raw data. Rockville, MD: TransCen.Google Scholar
  16. Harnum, M., Duffy, J., & Ferguson, D. (2007). Adults’ versus children’s perceptions of a child with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(7), 1337–1343.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hart, D., Grigal, M., & Weir, C. (2010). Expanding the paradigm: Postsecondary education options for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 25(3), 134–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Howlin, P., Goode, J., Hutton, J., & Rutter, M. (2004). Adult outcome for children with autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 212–229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Howlin, P., Mawhood, L., & Rutter, M. (2000). Autism and developmental receptive language disorder—A follow-up comparison in early adult life. II: Social, behavioural, and psychiatric outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(5), 561–578.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Huws, J., & Jones, R. (2010). ‘They just seem to live their lives in their own little world’: Lay perceptions of autism. Disability and Society, 25(3), 331–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jobe, L., & White, S. W. (2007). Loneliness, social relationships, and a broader autism phenotype in college students. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 1479–1489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 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
  25. Kokosh, J. (1976). Psychology of the scientist: XXXIV. MMPI characteristics of physical and social science students: Replication and reanalysis. Psychological Reports, 39(3), 1067–1071.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. Lurie, A., & Gurian, A. (2010). Introduction to special issue. Social Work in Mental Health, 8(1), 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mahoney, D. (2008). College students’ attitudes toward individuals with autism. Dissertation Abstracts International, 68(11-B), 7672.Google Scholar
  30. 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
  31. Miller, D., & Ross, M. (1975). Self-serving biases in the attribution of causality. Fact or fiction? Psychological Bulletin, 82, 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Morton, J., & Campbell, J. (2008). Information source affects peers’ initial attitudes toward autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29(3), 189–201.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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.
  36. 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
  37. Sterling, L., Dawson, G., Estes, A., & Greenson, J. (2008). Characteristics associated with presence of depressive symptoms in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(6), 1011–1018.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 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
  39. Swaim, K., & Morgan, S. (2001). Children’s attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a peer with autistic behaviors: Does a brief educational intervention have an effect? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(2), 195–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  41. Taylor, M. (2005). Teaching students with autistic spectrum disorders in HE. Education and Training, 47(7), 484–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 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.
  43. 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
  44. Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. Mass and London: Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  45. White, S., Oswald, D., Ollendick, T., & Scahill, L. (2009). Anxiety in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(3), 216–229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations