Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 2556–2574 | Cite as

Examining the Efficacy of Peer Network Interventions on the Social Interactions of High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Melissa A. SreckovicEmail author
  • Kara Hume
  • Harriet Able
Original Paper

Abstract

Developing positive peer relationships is important. Unfortunately, due to challenges in social communication and increased complexity of peer groups during adolescence, many secondary students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) engage in limited positive social interactions with peers. This study examined the effects of a peer network intervention implemented with three high school students with ASD. A multiple-baseline across participants design was used to evaluate the intervention on initiations and responses to and from students with ASD. The impact on frequency of victimization of students with ASD was also explored. Results indicate peer networks are effective at increasing social interactions of secondary students with ASD and provide preliminary support for the use of peer networks to reduce rates of bullying victimization.

Keywords

Autism Peer mediated intervention Social interaction Victimization 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The work reported here was supported by the Organization for Autism Research, Graduate Research Grant. This study reports findings from a doctoral dissertation and was supported by three research assistants: Nelson Brunsting, Susan Hedges, and Evans Caison.

Author Contributions

MS conceived the study in collaboration with KH and HA. MS was the primary investigator and facilitated the intervention. MS and KH participated in the design and ongoing analysis and interpretation of the data. MS, KH, and HA helped to draft the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.

Funding

The work reported here was supported by the Organization for Autism Research, Graduate Research Grant.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

References

  1. Bauminger, N., Shulman, C., & Agam, G. (2003). Peer interaction and loneliness in high-functioning children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 22(5), 489–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 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 U.S. children: 2007 to 2011–2012. National Health Statistics Reports, 65, 1–12.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, J. M., Morton, J. F., Roulston, K., & Barger, B. D. (2011). A descriptive analysis of middle school students’ conceptions of autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23, 377–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cappadocia, M. C., Weiss, J. A., & Pepler, D. (2012). Bullying experiences among children and youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 266–277.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Carter, E. W., Asmus, J., Moss, C. K., Cooney, M., Weir, K., Vincent, L., & Fesperman, E. (2013). Peer network strategies to foster social connections among adolescents with and without severe disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(2), 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carter, E. W., & Draper, J. (2010). Making school matter: Supporting meaningful secondary experiences for adolescents who use AAC. In: D. McNaughton &amp, R. D & Buekelman (Eds.), Transition strategies for adolescents and young adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (pp. 69–90). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  7. Carter, E. W., Sisco, L. G., & Chung, Y. (2012). Peer-mediated support strategies. In P. A. Prelock & R. McCauley (Eds.), Treatment of autism spectrum disorders: Evidence-based intervention strategies for communication and social interactions (pp. 221–254). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  8. Fein, D., Tinder, P., & Waterhouse, L. (1979). Stimulus generalization in autistic and normal children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 20, 325–335.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gardner, K. F., Carter, E. W., Gustafson, J. R., Hochman, J. M., Harvey, M. N., Mullins, T. S., & Fan, H. (2014). Effects of peer networks on the social interactions of high school students with autism spectrum disorders. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 39(2), 100–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Haring, T. G., & Breen, C. G. (1992). A peer-mediated social network intervention to enhance the social integration of persons with moderate and severe disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 319–333CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Helseth, S., & Misvaer, N. (2010). Adolescents’ perceptions of quality of life: What it is and what matters. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 1454–1461.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Hochman, J. M., Carter, E. W., Bottema-Beutel, K., Harvey, M. N., & Gustafson, J. R. (2015). Efficacy of peer networks to increase social connections among high school students with and without autism. Exceptional Children, 82, 96–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Horner, R. D., & Baer, D. M. (1978). Multiple-probe technique: A variation of multiple baseline. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11(1), 189–196.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Horner, R. H., Carr, E. C., Halle, J., McGee, G., Odom, S., & Wolery, M. (2005). The use of single-subject research to identify evidence-based practice in special education. Exceptional Children, 71, 165–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hughes, C., Golas, M., Cosgriff, J., Brigham, N., Edwards, C., & Cashen, K. (2011). Effects of a social skills intervention among high school students with intellectual disabilities and autism and their general education peers. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 36(1), 46–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hughes, C., Kaplan, L., Bernstein, R., Boykin, M., Reilly, C., Brigham, N., Harvey, M. (2013). Increasing social interaction skills of secondary school students with autism and/or intellectual disability: A review of interventions. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(4), 288–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2010). Perceptions of social support and experience of bullying among pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream secondary schools. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25(1), 77–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kasari, C., Locke, J., Gulsrud, A., & Rotheram-Fuller, E. (2011). Social networks and friendships at school: Comparing children with and without ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 533–544.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kazdin, A. E. (2011). Single-case research designs†¯: methods for clinical and applied settings (2nd edn.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Koegel, R., Kim, S., Koegel, L., & Schwartzman, B. (2013). Improving socialization for high school students with ASD by using their preferred interests. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(9), 2121–2134.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Koegel, R., & Koegel, L. (1988). Generalized responsivity and pivotal behaviors. In R. Horner, G. Dunlap & R. Koegel (Eds.), Generalization and maintenance: Lifestyle changes in applied settings (pp. 41–66). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  22. Koegel, R. L., Fredeen, R., Kim, S., Danial, J., Rubinstein, D., & Koegel, L. (2012). Using perseverative interests to improve interactions between adolescents with autism and their typical peers in school settings. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 14(3), 133–141.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Lee, S., Odom, S. L., & Loftin, R. (2007). Social engagement with peers and stereotypic behavior of children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9(2), 67–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Little, L. (2002). Middle-class mothers’ perceptions of peer and sibling victimization among children with Asperger’s syndrome and nonverbal learning disorders. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 25(1), 43–57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lynch, A. D., Lerner, R. M., & Leventhal, T. (2013). Adolescent academic achievement and school engagement: An examination of the role of school-wide peer culture. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 6–19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Morrison, L., Kamps, D., Garcia, J., & Parker, D. (2001). Peer mediation and monitoring strategies to improve initiations and social skills for students with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 3, 237–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Orsmond, G. I., Shattuck, P. T., Cooper, B. P., Sterzing, P. R., & Anderson, K. A. (2013). Social participation among young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(11), 2710–2719.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Paul, R., Orlovski, S. M., Marcinko, H. C., & Volkmar, F. (2009). Conversational behaviors in youth with high-functioning ASD and Asperger syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 115–125.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Petrina, N., Carter, M., & Stephenson, J. (2014). The nature of friendship in children with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(2), 111–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reynolds, W. M. (2003). Reynolds bully-victimization scales for schools. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  31. Ross, S. W., & Horner, R. H. (2009). Bullying prevention in positive behavior support. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(4), 747–759.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Laursen, B. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  33. Schmidt, C., & Stichter, J. P. (2012). The use of peer-mediated interventions to promote the generalization of social competence for adolescents with high-functioning autism and asperger’s syndrome. Exceptionality, 20, 94–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schopler, E. S., Reichler, R. J., & Renner, B. R. (1988). The childhood autism rating scale (CARS). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  35. Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Cooper, B., Sterzing, P. R., Wagner, M., & Taylor, J. L. (2012). Postsecondary education and employment among youth with an autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics, 129(6), 1042–1049.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Siperstein, G. N., Parker, R. C., Bardon, J. N., & Widaman, K. F. (2007). A national study of youth attitudes toward the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities. Exceptional Children, 73(4), 435–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sperry, L., Neitzel, J., & Engelhardt-Wells, K. (2010). Peer-mediated instruction and intervention strategies for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Preventing School Failure, 54(4), 256–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sreckovic, M. A., Brunsting, N. C., & Able, H. (2014). Victimization of students with autism spectrum disorder: A review of prevalence and risk factors. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(9), 1155–1172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tantam, D. (2003). The challenge of adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, 143–163.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Taylor, J. L., & Seltzer, M. M. (2011). Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum disorders during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(5), 566–574.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. Tobias, A. (2009). Supporting students with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) at secondary school: A parent and student perspective. Educational Psychology in Practice, 25(2), 151–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Twyman, K. A., Saylor, C. F., Saia, D., Macias, M. M., Taylor, L. A., & Spratt, E. (2010). Bullying and ostracism experiences in children with special health care needs. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 31, 1–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Wagner, M., Cadwallader, T. W., Garza, N., & Cameto, R. (2004). Social activities of youth with disabilities. NLTS2 Data Brief, 3(1), 1–4.Google Scholar
  44. Wainscot, J. J., Naylor, P., Sutcliffe, P., Tantam, D., & Williams, J. V. (2008). Relationships with peers and use of the school environment of mainstream secondary school pupils with Asperger syndrome (High-Functioning Autism): A Case-Control Study. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 8(1), 25–38.Google Scholar
  45. Weiss, M., & Harris, S. L. (2001). Teaching social skills to people with Autism. Behavior Modification, 25(5), 785–802.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Wentzel, K. R., Donlan, A., & Morrison, D. (2012). Peer relationships and social motivational processes. In A. M. Ryan & G. W. Ladd (Eds.), Peer relationships and adjustment at school (pp. 79–108). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 203–214.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Michigan - FlintFlintUSA
  2. 2.FPG Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillCarrboroUSA
  3. 3.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations