International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 8 Num. 1 - March 2008


Relationships with Peers and Use of the School Environment of Mainstream Secondary School Pupils with Asperger Syndrome (High-Functioning Autism): A Case-Control Study

Volume 8 Num. 1 - March 2008 - Pages 25-38


Jennifer J. Wainscot, Paul Naylor, Paul Sutcliffe, Digby Tantam, and Jenna V. Williams


This study is of the in-school social relationships with peers of mainstream secondary
school pupils with Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism (AS/HFA) and of matched
controls. Fifty-seven pupils participated in the study (30 with AS/HFA and 27 controls),
ranging from school years 7-13 (age 11-18 years). By comparison with controls, pupils
with AS/HFA engaged in fewer social interactions during the school day, both in and out
of lessons, spent break and lunch times inside in quieter more closely adult supervised
areas of the school, reported having fewer friends, were less physically active, were more
likely to be the targets of bullying but had equally good school attendance records.
Implications for further research are discussed.

Key words:

adolescents, Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, bullying, mainstream

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