A Longitudinal Investigation of the Friendship and Bullying Experiences of Middle School Youth with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Disabilities
While nearly half of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are victims of bullying (compared to about 10% of typically-developing students), little is known about the risk factors related to victimization, or the educational, emotional, and behavioral consequences of bullying on students with ASD. We also know little about how these factors compare to students with intellectual disability (ID) and typically developing students (TD).
Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, this program of research is designed to better understand the risk factors and consequences of bullying for middle school students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). While students with disabilities experience significantly higher rates of bullying than students without disabilities, little is known about the factors that contribute to victimization or the consequences for these students, particularly those with ASD and ID. There is also limited research on how the experience of bullying for students with ASD is similar to or different from that of students with ID and students without disabilities.
We are currently using data collected from students with ASD/ID, their parents, teachers, and peers to better understand the friendship and bullying experiences of middle school students with disabilities. Information will also be used to design a survey to better assess the self-reported bullying experiences of these students. Once the measure is developed, we will conduct a longitudinal investigation to determine the risk factors (e.g., loneliness, poor social skills, internalizing and externalizing problems) and academic, emotional, and behavioral consequences of bullying for youth with ASD and how these risk factors and outcomes compare to youth with ID and students without disabilities.
This research is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324B170003 to Michigan State University. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education
Research Related to Bullying of Individuals with IDD
gPeterson, A.M., Fisher, M.H., Brodhead, M.T., Sung, C., & gUher, A. (2021). Teaching young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to recognize and respond to coworker victimization. Behavioral Interventions. https://doi.org/10.1002/bin.1826
Griffin, M.M., Fisher, M.H., Lane, L.A.,& gMorin, L. (2019). Responses to bullying among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Self-determination and support needs. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 32, 1514-1522. https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12646
Griffin, M.M., Fisher, M.H., Lane, L.A.,& gMorin, L. (2019). In their own words: Perceptions and experiences of bullying among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 57, 66-74. https://doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-57.1.66
Fisher, M.H., gLough, E.F., Griffin, M.M., & gLane, L.A. (2017). Experiences of bullying for individuals with Williams syndrome: From pain to empowerment. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 10, 108-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/19315864.2016.1278289
Fisher, M.H. & Taylor, J.L. (2016). Let’s talk about it: Peer victimization experiences as reported by adolescents with ASD. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 20, 402-411. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361315585948
Research Related to Friendships and Social Outcomes of Individuals with IDD
*Fisher, M.H., Sung, C., pKammes, R.R., pOkyere, C., & pPark, J. (accepted). Social support as a mediator of stress and life satisfaction for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. (Accepted on 9/21/2021). *shared first authorship with C Sung.
pPark, J., Sung, C., Fisher, M.H., pOkyere, C., & pKammes, R.R. (accepted). Psychosocial and vocational impacts of COVID-19 on people with and without disabilities. Rehabilitation Psychology. (Accepted on 8/31/2021).
Sung, C., pOkyere, C., Fisher, M.H., pPark, J., pKammes, R.R. (accepted). Determining factors of psychosocial wellbeing among people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: Mediating role of social support. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education. (Accepted 3/4/2021).
gJosol, C.K, Fisher, M.H., Brodhead, M.T., & Duenas, A. (2021). Improving affective empathy skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-021-09793-x
gMacFarland, M.C. & Fisher, M.H. (2021). Peer mediated social skill generalization for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Exceptionality, 29, 114-132. https://doi.org/10.1080/09362835.2019.1579722
Fisher, M.H., gJosol, C.K., & Shivers, C.M. (2020). An examination of social skills, friendship quality, and feelings of loneliness for adults with Williams syndrome. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 50, 3649-3660. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04416-4
pAthamanah, L. S., gJosol, C. K., gAyeh, D., Fisher, M. H., & Sung, C. (2019). Understanding friendships and promoting friendship development through peer mentoring for individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 57, 1-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.irrdd.2019.06.009
Fisher, M.H. & gMorin, L. (2017). Addressing social skills deficits in adults with Williams syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 71, 77-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2017.10.008
Thurman, A.J. & Fisher, M.H. (2015). The Williams syndrome social phenotype: Disentangling the contributions of social interest and social difficulties. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 49, 191-227. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.irrdd.2015.06.002
Sellinger, M.H., Hodapp, R.M., & Dykens, E.M. (2006). Leisure activities of individuals with Prader-Willi, Williams, and Down syndromes. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 18, 59-71.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-006-9006-8