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

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.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH086489-01, P.I.: Shattuck) and the Organization for Autism Research.

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Correspondence to Micah O. Mazurek.

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Mazurek, M.O., Shattuck, P.T., Wagner, M. et al. Prevalence and Correlates of Screen-Based Media Use Among Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 42, 1757–1767 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1413-8

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Video game
  • Television
  • Internet