College Students’ Perceptions of Peers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- 2.8k Downloads
Little is known about peer attitudes toward college students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Affective, behavioral, and cognitive attitudes toward vignette characters displaying behaviors characteristic of ASD were examined among 224 four-year university students who were randomly assigned to one of three labeling conditions for the primary vignette characters: high functioning autism (HFA), typical college student, or no label. Students in the HFA label condition reported more positive behavioral and cognitive attitudes toward the vignette characters than students in the no label condition. Male students and students with lower scores on the Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire reported more positive attitudes across study conditions. These experimental results suggest that knowledge of a diagnosis might improve attitudes toward college students with ASD.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Postsecondary education Peer attitudes Young adults
We thank the University of California, Irvine Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program for financial support of this project. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions made by Kent Chiu, Rob Haghighi, and Lesley Lai to data collection and coding. We also thank the college students who participated in this study.
- Anderson, D. K., Liang, J. W., & Lord, C. (2013). Predicting young adult outcome among more and less cognitively able individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12178.
- Blumberg, S. J., Bramlett, M. D., Kogan, M. D., Schieve, L. A., Jones, J. R., & Lu, M. C. (2013). Changes in prevalence of parent-reported autism spectrum disorder in school-aged US children: 2007 to 2011–2012. National Health Statistic Reports; no. 65. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov.
- Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- John, O. P., Donahue, E. M., & Kentle, R. L. (1990). The Big-5 Inventory: Versions 4a and 5. Technical Report. Berkeley, CA: Institute of Personality and Social Research, University of California.Google Scholar
- Raue, K., & Lewis, L. (2011). Students with disabilities at degree-granting postsecondary institutions (NCES 2011–018). US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.
- Russell, D. W. (1996). UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3): Reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 20-40. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/.
- Shtayermman, O. (2009). An exploratory study of the stigma associated with a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome: The mental health impact on the adolescents and young adults diagnosed with a disability with a social nature. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 19, 298–313. doi: 10.1080/10911350902790720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- US Department of Health and Human Services, Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. (2010). Strategic plan for autism spectrum disorder research (NIH Publication No. 10-7573). Retrieved from http://www.iacc.hhs.gov/strategic-plan/2010/IACC_2010 _Strategic_Plan.pdf.