Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Do You See What I See? The Perception of Bullying in Male Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Although there is evidence to suggest that adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty interpreting complex social situations, little is known about their understanding of bullying. Given the high rates of victimization in this population, it is important to investigate how adolescents with ASD comprehend bullying. Male adolescents with ASD and IQ-matched typically-developing (TD) controls (Mage = 14.62, SD = 1.91) watched six videos portraying bullying scenarios and were interviewed after each video. The interviews were coded for the participants’ understanding of the bullying scenarios. Results indicated that adolescents with ASD had significantly lower bullying understanding scores than TD adolescents. These novel findings suggest that male adolescents with ASD understand bullying differently than their TD peers. Implications for experiences with victimization are discussed.