Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1757–1767 | Cite as

Prevalence and Correlates of Screen-Based Media Use Among Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Micah O. Mazurek
  • Paul T. Shattuck
  • Mary Wagner
  • Benjamin P. Cooper
Original Paper

Abstract

Anecdotal reports indicate that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often preoccupied with television, computers, and video games (screen-based media). However, few studies have examined this issue. The current study examined screen-based media use among a large, nationally representative sample of youths participating in the National Longitudinal Transition Study—2 (NLTS2). The majority of youths with ASD (64.2%) spent most of their free time using non-social media (television, video games), while only 13.2% spent time on social media (email, internet chatting). Compared with other disability groups (speech/language impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities), rates of non-social media use were higher among the ASD group, and rates of social media use were lower. Demographic and symptom-specific correlates were also examined.

Keywords

Autism Autism spectrum disorder Video game Television Internet 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Anand, S., & Krosnick, J. A. (2005). Demographic predictors of media use among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(5), 539–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersen, R. E., Crespo, C. J., Bartlett, S. J., Cheskin, L. J., & Pratt, M. (1998). Relationship of physical activity and television watching with body weight and level of fatness among children: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of the American Medical Association, 279(12), 938–942.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, C. A., Sakamoto, A., Gentile, D. A., Ihori, N., Shibuya, A., Yukawa, S., et al. (2008). Longitudinal effects of violent video games on aggression in Japan and the United States. Pediatrics, 122(5), 1067–1072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bartak, L., & Rutter, M. (1976). Differences between mentally retarded and normally intelligent autistic children. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 6(2), 109–120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bauminger, N., & Shulman, C. (2003). The development and maintenance of friendship in high-functioning children with autism: Maternal perceptions. Autism, 7(1), 81–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bertrand, J., Mars, A., Boyle, C., Bove, F., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., & Decoufle, P. (2001). Prevalence of autism in a United States population: The Brick Township, New Jersey, investigation. Pediatrics, 108(5), 1155–1161.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bickham, D. S., Vandewater, E. A., Huston, A. C., Lee, J. H., Caplovitz, A. G., & Wright, J. C. (2003). Predictors of children’s electronic media use: An examination of three ethnic groups. Media Psychology, 5(2), 107–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Billstedt, E., Gillberg, C., & Gillberg, C. (2005). Autism after adolescence: Population-based 13- to 22-year follow-up study of 120 individuals with autism diagnosed in childhood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(3), 351–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Certain, L. K., & Kahn, R. S. (2002). Prevalence, correlates, and trajectory of television viewing among infants and toddlers. Pediatrics, 109(4), 634–642.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cleary, P., Pierce, G., & Trauth, E. (2006). Closing the digital divide: understanding racial, ethnic, social class, gender and geographic disparities in Internet use among school age children in the United States. Universal Access in the Information Society, 4(4), 354–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cummings, H. M., & Vandewater, E. A. (2007). Relation of adolescent video game play to time spent in other activities. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 161(7), 684–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davies, D. K., Stock, S. E., & Wehmeyer, M. L. (2001). Enhancing independent internet access for individuals with mental retardation through use of a specialized web browser: A pilot study. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 36(1), 107–113.Google Scholar
  14. Eaves, L. C., & Ho, H. H. (2008). Young adult outcome of autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(4), 739–747.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Foley, J. T., Bryan, R. R., & McCubbin, J. A. (2008). Daily physical activity levels of elementary school-aged children with and without mental retardation. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 20(4), 365–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gadow, K. D., & Sprafkin, J. (1993). Television “violence” and children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 1(1), 54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gentile, D. A., & Walsh, D. A. (2002). A normative study of family media habits. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 23(2), 157–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hancox, R. J., Milne, B. J., & Poulton, R. (2005). Association of television viewing during childhood with poor educational achievement. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159(7), 614–618.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoffman, D. L., & Novak, T. P. (1998). Bridging the racial divide on the internet. Science, 280(5362), 390–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Howlin, P., Goode, S., Hutton, J., & Rutter, M. (2004). Adult outcome for children with autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(2), 212–229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jackson, L. A., Ervin, K. S., Gardner, P. D., & Schmitt, N. (2001). The racial digital divide: Motivational, affective, and cognitive correlates of internet use. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31(10), 2019–2046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jackson, L. A., Zhao, Y., Qiu, W., Kolenic Iii, A., Fitzgerald, H. E., Harold, R., et al. (2008). Culture, gender and information technology use: A comparison of Chinese and US children. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(6), 2817–2829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson, J. G., Cohen, P., Kasen, S., & Brook, J. S. (2007). Extensive television viewing and the development of attention and learning difficulties during adolescence. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161(5), 480–486.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Klin, A., Danovitch, J. H., Merz, A. B., & Volkmar, F. R. (2007). Circumscribed interests in higher functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders: An exploratory study. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 32(2), 89–100.Google Scholar
  25. Kozub, F. M. (2003). Explaining physical activity in individuals with mental retardation: An exploratory study. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 302–313.Google Scholar
  26. Li, N., & Kirkup, G. (2007). Gender and cultural differences in Internet use: A study of China and the UK. Computers & Education, 48(2), 301–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li-Tsang, C., Yeung, S., Chan, C., & Hui-Chan, C. (2005). Factors affecting people with intellectual disabilities in learning to use computer technology. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 28(2), 127–133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marshall, S. J., Biddle, S. J. H., Gorely, T., Cameron, N., & Murdey, I. (2004). Relationships between media use, body fatness and physical activity in children and youth: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 28(10), 1238–1246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marshall, S. J., Gorely, T., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2006). A descriptive epidemiology of screen-based media use in youth: A review and critique. Journal of Adolescence, 29(3), 333–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nally, B., Houlton, B., & Ralph, S. (2000). Researches in brief: The management of television and video by parents of children with autism. Autism, 4(3), 331–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ono, H., & Tsai, H.-J. (2008). Race, parental socioeconomic status, and computer use time outside of school among young American children, 1997 to 2003. Journal of Family Issues, 29(12), 1650–1672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Orsmond, G. I., Krauss, M. W., & Seltzer, M. M. (2004). Peer relationships and social and recreational activities among adolescents and adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(3), 245–256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Raghunathan, T. E., Lepkowski, J. M., Van Hoewyk, J., & Solenberger, P. W. (2001). A multivariate technique for multiply imputing missing values using a sequence of regression models. Survey Methodology, 27(1), 85–95.Google Scholar
  34. Roberts, D. F., & Foehr, U. G. (2008). Trends in media use. The Future of Children, 18(1), 11–37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rubin, D. B. (1987). Multiple imputation for nonresponse in surveys. New York, NY: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schultz, T. M., & Berkson, G. (1995). Definition of abnormal focused affections and exploration of their relation to abnormal stereotyped behaviors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 99(4), 376–390.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Shane, H., & Albert, P. (2008). Electronic screen media for persons with autism spectrum disorders: Results of a survey. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(8), 1499–1508.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sharif, I., & Sargent, J. D. (2006). Association between television, movie, and video game exposure and school performance. Pediatrics, 118(4), e1061–e1070.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sharif, I., Wills, T. A., & Sargent, J. D. (2009). Effect of visual media use on school performance: A prospective study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 46(1), 52–61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shattuck, P. T., Seltzer, M. M., Greenberg, J. S., Orsmond, G. I., Bolt, D., Kring, S., et al. (2007). Change in autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors in adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(9), 1735–1747.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Simonoff, E. M., Pickles, A. P., Charman, T. P., Chandler, S. P., Loucas, T. O. M. P., & Baird, G. F. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(8), 921–929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. South, M., Ozonoff, S., & McMahon, W. M. (2005). Repetitive behavior profiles in Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(2), 145–158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Turner, M. (1999). Repetitive behaviour in autism: A review of psychological research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 40(6), 839–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Van Naarden Braun, K., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., & Lollar, D. (2006). Factors associated with leisure activity among young adults with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27(5), 567–583.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vandewater, E. A., Shim, M.-s., & Caplovitz, A. G. (2004). Linking obesity and activity level with children’s television and video game use. Journal of Adolescence, 27(1), 71–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wagner, M., Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., & Epstein, M. H. (2005). The special education elementary longitudinal study and the national longitudinal transition study. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 13(1), 25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wright, J. C., Huston, A. C., Vandewater, E. A., Bickham, D. S., Scantlin, R. M., Kotler, J. A., et al. (2001). American children’s use of electronic media in 1997: A national survey. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 22(1), 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Rice, C., Karapurkar, T., Doernberg, N., Boyle, C., & Murphy, C. (2003). Prevalence of autism in a US metropolitan area. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(1), 49–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micah O. Mazurek
    • 1
  • Paul T. Shattuck
    • 2
  • Mary Wagner
    • 3
  • Benjamin P. Cooper
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health Psychology, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental DisordersUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.George Warren Brown School of Social WorkWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.SRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations