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Measuring Police Officer Self-efficacy for Working with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is currently one of the most researched of all childhood developmental disorders and is receiving attention in many domains. The purpose of this study was to design and provide psychometric evidence for a scale that measures police officer self-efficacy for working with individuals with ASD. Psychometric properties of a scale designed to measure knowledge of ASD were also explored. Data from 620 police officers were collected and a 13-item scale was created and evaluated. Results indicated that the scale represented a unidimensional construct. Knowing more about officers’ knowledge and beliefs in their own capabilities to work with individuals with ASD can help inform future police education and training efforts.

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Authors

Contributions

AL was the primary investigator of the project and devised the project, planned the logistics, and conducted the analyses. EU supervised the project from conceptualization to writing the manuscript. MT provided expertise in the area of psychometrics and gave a critical review of the analyses and full manuscript. JC, AS, and KS provided guidance in diverse ways including contributions to the original conceptualization, reflections on the results, writing, and critical feedback throughout.

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Correspondence to Abigail M. A. Love.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

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

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

The questionnaire and methodology for this study was approved by the Human Research Ethics committee of the University of Kentucky (Ethics Approval Number: 43388.).

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Love, A.M.A., Usher, E.L., Toland, M.D. et al. Measuring Police Officer Self-efficacy for Working with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 51, 1331–1345 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04613-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04613-1

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