Race, disability, and grade: Social relationships in children with autism spectrum disorders.

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TitleRace, disability, and grade: Social relationships in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAzad, GF, Locke, J, Kasari, C, Mandell, DS
JournalAutism
Volume21
Issue1
Pagination92-99
Date Published2017 01
ISSN1461-7005
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Asian Americans, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Case-Control Studies, Child, Child, Preschool, Continental Population Groups, Disabled Children, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Social Support
Abstract

Race is associated with social relationships among typically developing children; however, studies rarely examine the impact of race on social outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder. This study examined how race (African American, Latino, Asian, or White) in conjunction with disability status (autism spectrum disorders or typically developing) and grade (grades K-2 or 3-5) affects friendships and social networks. The sample comprises 85 children with autism spectrum disorders and 85 typically developing controls matched on race, gender, age/grade, and classroom (wherever possible). Race, disability, and grade each had an independent effect on friendship nominations, and there was an interaction among the three variables. Specifically, children with autism spectrum disorders who were African American or Latino in the upper elementary grades received fewer friendship nominations than typically developing White children in the lower elementary grades. Only the presence of autism spectrum disorders was associated with social network centrality. Our results also suggested that Latino children with autism spectrum disorders in the upper elementary grades were at the highest risk of social isolation. Implications for re-conceptualizing social skills interventions are discussed.

DOI10.1177/1362361315627792
Alternate JournalAutism
PubMed ID26966285
PubMed Central IDPMC5018242
Grant ListF32 MH101994 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K01 MH100199 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
U54 MH068172 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
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