Study details bullying involvement for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

September 3, 2012

A study based on information collected from 920 parents suggests an estimated 46.3 percent of adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder were the victims of bullying, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Bullying involves negative actions toward a peer and is characterized by a power imbalance – physical, social or cognitive – between the victim and the perpetrator. Relatively little research has examined bullying involvement among adolescents with an (ASD), according to the study background.

Paul R. Sterzing, Ph.D., M.S.S.W., previously of Washington University, St. Louis but now affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues used nationally representative surveys to identify the prevalence of bullying involvement, compare prevalence rates of bullying involvement with adolescents with developmental disabilities that overlap with the core deficits of an ASD, and identify the social ecological correlates of bullying involvement.

The prevalence of bullying involvement for adolescents with an ASD was 46.3 percent for victimization and was "substantially higher" than the national prevalence estimates for the general adolescent population (10.6 percent). The rates of perpetration of bullying (14.8 percent) and victimization/perpetration (8.9 percent, i.e. those who perpetrate and are victimized), were about equivalent to national estimates found among typically developing adolescents, according to the study results.

Victimization was related to having a non-Hispanic ethnicity, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, lower social skills, some form of conversational ability, and more classes in general education. Perpetration was correlated with being white, having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and getting together with friends at least once a week. Victimization/perpetration was associated with being white non-Hispanic, having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and getting together with friends at least once a week, the results indicate.

"Future interventions should incorporate content that addresses the core deficits of adolescents with an ASD, which limits their verbal ability to report bullying incidents," the authors comment. "Schools should incorporate strategies that address conversational difficulties and the unique challenges of those with comorbid conditions."

The authors also concluded: "Inclusive classrooms need to increase the social integration of with an ASD into protective peer groups while also enhancing the empathy and social skills of typically developing students toward their peers with an ASD and other developmental disabilities."

Explore further: New study looks at medication use of kids with ASD, ADHD

More information: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Published online September 3, 2012. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.790

Related Stories

New study looks at medication use of kids with ASD, ADHD

February 17, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Many children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can benefit from medication for related disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Teens with autism face major obstacles to social life outside of school, study finds

November 24, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Hanging out with friends after school and on the weekends is a vital part of a teen’s social life. But for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), social activity outside of school is a ...

ADHD symptoms worsen quality of life for individuals with autism

September 19, 2011
Research supported by the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN), demonstrating that symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity worsen quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was presented ...

Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media

January 25, 2012
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to be fascinated by screen-based technology. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that adolescents with autism spend the majority of their free time using ...

Study suggests link between childhood bullying and adult intimate partner violence perpetration

June 6, 2011
Men who report having bullied peers in childhood appear to have an increased risk of perpetrating violence against an intimate partner in adulthood, according to a report posted online today by the Archives of Pediatrics ...

Recommended for you

Late-breaking mutations may play an important role in autism

July 17, 2017
A study of nearly 6,000 families, combining three genetic sequencing technologies, finds that mutations that occur after conception play an important role in autism. A team led by investigators at Boston Children's Hospital ...

Females with autism show greater difficulty with day-to-day tasks than male counterparts

July 14, 2017
Women and girls with autism may face greater challenges with real world planning, organization and other daily living skills, according to a study published in the journal Autism Research.

Researchers investigate possible link between carnitine deficiency and autism

July 13, 2017
Researchers are always looking for new clues to the causes of autism, with special emphasis on prevention or treatment. At Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Arthur Beaudet has been following clinical and genetic clues in patients ...

How children look at mom's face is influenced by genetic factors and altered in autism

July 12, 2017
New research has uncovered compelling evidence that genetics plays a major role in how children look at the world and whether they have a preference for gazing at people's eyes and faces or at objects.

Oxytocin improves social abilities in some kids with autism, study finds

July 10, 2017
Children with autism showed improved social behavior when treated with oxytocin, a hormone linked to social abilities, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Children with low ...

Possible early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder

June 29, 2017
Measuring a set of proteins in the blood may enable earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study from the Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.