This study examined the stability of children's social networks and friendship features over one academic school year. Differences in the social network salience between typically developing children, children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and children with a non-ASD disability were explored. As a whole, social network salience increased for all students across the school year; however, children in the upper grades had higher social network salience as the school year progressed than those in the younger grades. Compared to children with a non-ASD disability and typically developing children, children with ASD had significantly lower social network salience and received significantly fewer friendship nominations and more non-preferred nominations across the school year. While these data suggest that children's social networks and patterns of peer relationships are relatively stable over time, school-based interventions that foster social development and peer engagement are still needed for children with ASD.
- Social networks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology