Participant roles in bullying among Dutch adolescents with autism spectrum disorders
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 47, 6, (2018), pp. 874-887
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI ON
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
SubjectDevelopmental Psychopathology; Social Development
This study investigated whether participant roles (i.e., bully, assistant, follower, defender, outsider, victim) identified in bullying among normative groups of adolescents educated in regular education could also be found among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) educated in special education classrooms. Relationships between the participant roles and three social status measures (social preference, social impact, and popularity) were also examined. There were 260 Dutch adolescents with ASD, ages 12?18 (M = 13.75, SD = 1.42; 224 boys, 36 girls), and 743 Dutch typically developing (TD) adolescents, ages 11?17 (M = 13.41, SD = 1.24; 380 boys, 363 girls) who filled out questionnaires during classroom testing sessions conducted by the first author and trained (under)graduate students. Participant roles could be distinguished, although role distributions differed across groups and across sexes. There were more outsiders and defenders, and fewer followers among boys with ASD than among TD boys. Among girls with ASD, there were more victims than among TD girls. Students with ASD could more often be assigned multiple roles and were less often uninvolved than TD students. The relationships between participant roles and social status measures also differed across groups and across sexes. Whereas bullying is considered a universal social phenomenon, the existence of participant roles in bullying situations might be considered universal, as well. Apparently, the social difficulties of students with ASD do not seem to prevent them from taking on various participant roles in bullying situations. Additional practical implications are discussed.
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