An Examination of the Social Relationships of High School Students with Autism in General Education Settings Using Peer Nomination Methods

Nicole L. Matthews, Erin Rotheram-Fuller, Beatriz C. Orr, Katrina Warriner, Mary DeCarlo, Jessica Kogan, Christopher J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite considerable research on school social experiences among younger children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), little is known about the classroom social relationships of high school students with ASD without intellectual disability. Additional research in this area is necessary to refine and develop social skills interventions and outcome measures of social success for this age group. The current study compared peer nomination variables between 10 high school students with ASD and randomly selected gender-matched samples of their general education classmates at three time points over two academic years. All students attended schools in the Southwestern USA. Across all three time points, students with ASD were less accepted by their peers compared to their general education classmates. Among participants with ASD, social difficulties appeared to be most pervasive at the third time point. Findings suggest that some of the difficulties associated with establishing peer relationships documented among children and young adolescents with ASD are also present during high school. Feasibility of peer nomination methods in high school settings is discussed. Findings have implications for researchers, school psychologists, educators, and stakeholders, including individuals with ASD and their parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalSchool Mental Health
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • High school students
  • Peer relationships
  • Social network clustering
  • Sociometric status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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