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Monday, May 30, 2016

College Student Attitudes Toward Autistic Peers

At The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Devon White, Ashleigh Hillier, Alice Frye, and Emily Makrez have an article titled: "College Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Students on the Autism Spectrum." The abstract:
Young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are attending university in increasing numbers. The importance of acceptance from peers and integration into the university have been recognized as key factors for success. We examined university students’ knowledge and attitudes towards students with ASD, underlying factors that contributed to such attitudes, and whether attitudes changed across two cohorts 5-years apart. The later cohort demonstrated greater knowledge and more positive attitudes toward students with ASD compared to students in the first cohort. However, knowledge was not found to be a significant predictor of attitudes and many students who were knowledgeable about ASD still reported negative attitudes toward participating in university and classroom based activities with students with ASD.
From the article:
We also found support for our hypothesis that students who personally knew someone with ASD would have more positive attitudes toward their peers with ASD, consistent with the findings of previous research (Gillespie-Lynch et al. 2015; Nevill and White 2011). Knowing someone with ASD was correlated with more positive attitudes across both cohorts.
  • Gillespie-Lynch, K., Brooks, P. J., Someki, F., Obeid, R., ShaneSimpson, C., Kapp, S. K., & Smith, D. S. (2015). Changing college students’ conceptions of autism: An online training to increase knowledge and decrease stigma. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(8), 2553–2566.
  • Nevill, R. A., & White, S. W. (2011). College students’ openness toward autism spectrum disorders: Improving peer acceptance. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(12), 1619–1628.