Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1819–1824 | Cite as

Brief Report: Bullying and Anxiety in High-Functioning Adolescents with ASD

  • Gerrit van Schalkwyk
  • Isaac C. Smith
  • Wendy K. Silverman
  • Fred R. Volkmar
Brief Report


Youth with ASD are more likely to experience bullying than their typically developing peers. This risk has not been studied in youth with ASD transitioning to college. We examined the occurrence of bullying in 35 high functioning youth with ASD who were preparing to attend college. We also examined youth anxiety and ASD symptoms. Fifty-one percent of the sample reported being recent victims of bullying; 31% of parents reported their child was a victim of bullying. Parent report of bullying correlated significantly with ratings of youth social anxiety symptoms. These findings suggest that bullying is an issue of concern for higher functioning, older adolescents with ASD, and that their own reports may be particularly important in identifying its occurrence.


Bullying Anxiety Autism spectrum disorder Postsecondary education 


Author Contribution

The authors wish to acknowledge the efforts of MO-L, who assisted with data processing and analysis, and JG, who contributed to recruitment efforts for the current study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of the current study declare no conflicts 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.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerrit van Schalkwyk
    • 1
  • Isaac C. Smith
    • 2
  • Wendy K. Silverman
    • 1
  • Fred R. Volkmar
    • 1
  1. 1.Child Study CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Child Study CenterVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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