Skip to main content

Using Self- and Parent-Reports to Test the Association Between Peer Victimization and Internalizing Symptoms in Verbally Fluent Adolescents with ASD

Abstract

The current study tested the associations between peer victimization and internalizing symptoms in 54 verbally fluent adolescent males with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Adolescent- and parent-reports of multiple types of peer victimization and internalizing symptoms were used. First, the validity and reliability of the adolescent-report measure of peer victimization were successfully tested, with some exceptions. Then, structural equation models showed that adolescent-reports of peer victimization were associated with a latent construct of internalizing symptoms even after controlling for parent-reports of peer victimization. Discussion focuses on the importance of considering adolescent-reports of negative peer experience, such as peer victimization, rather than relying exclusively on parent reports.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M. (2001a). Youth self report (YSR). Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Achenbach, T. M. (2001b). The child behavior checklist (CBCL). Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 213–232. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.101.2.213.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Adams, R. E., & Bukowski, W. M. (2008). Peer victimization as a predictor of depression and body mass index in obese and non-obese adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 858–866. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01886.x.

  5. Adams, R. E., & Cantin, S. (2013). Self-disclosure in friendships as the moderator of the association between peer victimization and depressive symptoms in overweight adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 33, 341–362. doi:10.1177/0272431612441068.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Adams, R. E., Santo, J. B., & Bukowski, W. M. (2011). The presence of a best friend buffers the effects of negative experiences. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1786–1791. doi:10.1037/a0025401.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bodfish, J. W., Symons, F. J., Parker, D. E., & Lewis, M. H. (2000). Varieties of repetitive behavior in autism: Comparisons to mental retardation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 237–243. doi:10.1023/A:1005596502855.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Boivin, M., Petitclerc, A., Feng, B., & Barker, E. D. (2010). The developmental trajectories of peer victimization in middle to late childhood and the changing nature of their behavioral correlates. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 56, 231–260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 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. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1241-x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Constantino, J. N., & Gruber, C. P. (2005). Social responsiveness scale (SRS). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Costello, E. J., Egger, H., & Angold, A. (2005). 10-year research update review: The epidemiology of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders: I. Methods and Public Health Burden. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 972–986. doi:10.1097/01.chi.0000172552.415969.6f.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Crick, N. R., Wellman, N. E., Casas, J. F., O’Brien, K. M., Nelson, D. A., Grotpeter, J. K., et al. (1999). Childhood aggression and gender: A new look at an old problem. In D. Bernstein (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (pp. 75–141). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Ghandour, R. M., Kogan, M. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Perry, D. G. (2010). Prevalence and correlates of internalizing mental health symptoms among CSHCN. Pediatrics, 125, e269–e277. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-0622.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Ghaziuddin, M., Ghaziuddin, N., & Greden, J. (2002). Depression in persons with autism: Implications for research and clinical care. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32(4), 299–306. doi:10.1023/a:1016330802348.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Ghaziuddin, M., Weidmer-Mikhail, E., & Ghaziuddin, N. (1998). Comorbidity of Asperger syndrome: A preliminary report. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 42(4), 279–283. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2788.1998.00065.x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Hawker, D. S. J., & Boulton, M. J. (2000). Twenty years’ research on peer victimization and psychosocial maladjustment: A meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 441–455. doi:10.1111/1469-7610.00629.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 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. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00215.x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Hurtig, T., Kuusikko, S., Mattila, M., Haapsamo, H., Ebeling, H., Jussila, K., et al. (2009). Multi-informant reports of psychiatric symptoms among high-functioning adolescents with Asperger syndrome or autism. Autism, 13(6), 583–598. doi:10.1177/1362361309335719.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Kovacs, M. (1992). Children’s depression inventory manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Leyfer, O. T., Folstein, S. E., Bacalman, S., Davis, N. O., Dinh, E., Morgan, J., et al. (2006). Comorbid psychiatric disorders in children with Autism: Interview development and rates of disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(7), 849–861. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0123-0.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 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, 43–57. doi:10.1080/014608602753504847.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Lord, C., & Bishop, S. L. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders: Diagnosis, prevalence, and services for children and families. Society for Research in Child Development Social Policy Report, 24(2), 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R. S., Ruan, J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among US youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of American Medical Association, 285, 2094–2100. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2094.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Raja, M., Azzoni, A., & Frustaci, A. (2011). Autism spectrum disorders and suicidality. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 7. doi:10.2174/1745017901107010097.

  25. Reijntjes, A., Kamphuis, J. H., Prinzie, P., & Telch, M. J. (2010). Peer victimization and internalizing problems in children: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Child Abuse and Neglect, 34, 244–252. doi:10.1019/j.chiabu.2009.07.009.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Rosbrook, A., & Whittingham, K. (2010). Autistic traits in the general population: What mediates the link with depressive and anxious symptomatology? Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4(3), 415–424. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2009.10.012.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Parker, J. G. (2006). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups. In W. Damon, R. M., Lerner, & N. Eisenberg (Eds.,) Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 3. Social, emotional, and personality development, 6th ed (pp. 571–645). New York: Wiley.

  28. Rutter, M., Bailey, A., & Lord, C. (2003). The social communication questionnaire: Manual. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Schwartz, D., Farver, J. M., Chang, L., & Lee-Shin, Y. (2002). Victimization in South Korean children’s peer groups. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 113–125. doi:10.1023/A:1014749131245.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Seltzer, M. M., Krauss, M. W., Shattuck, P. T., Orsmond, G., Swe, A., & Lord, C. (2003). The symptoms of autism spectrum disorders in adolescence and adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(6), 565–581.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Siegel, R. S., La Greca, A. M., & Harrison, H. M. (2009). Peer victimization and social anxiety in adolescents: Prospective and reciprocal relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 1096–1109. doi:10.1007/s10964-009-9392-1.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Sterzing, P. R., Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Wagner, M., & Cooper, B. P. (2012). Bullying involvement and autism spectrum disorders. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 166, 1058–1064. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.790.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Storch, E. A., Larson, M. J., Ehrenreich-May, J., Arnold, E. B., Jones, A. M., Renno, P., et al. (2012). Peer victimization in youth with autism spectrum disorders and co-occurring anxiety: Relations with psychopathology and loneliness. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 24, 575–590. doi:10.1007/s10882-012-9290-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Sweeting, H., Young, R., West, P., & Der, G. (2006). Peer victimization and depression in early-mid adolescence: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 577–594. doi:10.1348/000709905X49890.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. van der Wal, M. F., deWit, C. A. M., & Hirasing, R. A. (2003). Psychosocial health among young victims and offenders of direct and indirect bullying. Pediatrics, 111, 1312–1317.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. van Roekel, E., Scholte, R. H., & Didden, R. (2010). Bullying among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence and perception. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 63–73. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0832-2.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. van Steensel, F. J. A., Bogels, S. M., & Perrin, S. (2011). Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 302–317. doi:10.1007/s10567-011-0097-0.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. You, J., & Bellmore, A. (2012). Relational peer victimization and psychosocial adjustment: The mediating role of best friendship qualities. Personal Relationships, 19, 340–353. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01365.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Young, E. L., Boye, A. E., & Nelson, D. A. (2006). Relational aggression: Understanding, identifying, and responding in schools. Psychology in the Schools, 43, 297–312. doi:10.1002/pits.20148.

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Carrie Thomas and Alyssa Wendling for their assistance in recruitment and data collection.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ryan E. Adams.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Adams, R.E., Fredstrom, B.K., Duncan, A.W. et al. Using Self- and Parent-Reports to Test the Association Between Peer Victimization and Internalizing Symptoms in Verbally Fluent Adolescents with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord 44, 861–872 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1938-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Peer victimization
  • Adolescence
  • Internalizing