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Gender Differences in the Social Motivation and Friendship Experiences of Autistic and Non-autistic Adolescents

Sedgewick, F; Hill, V; Yates, R; Pickering, L; Pellicano, E; (2016) Gender Differences in the Social Motivation and Friendship Experiences of Autistic and Non-autistic Adolescents. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders , 46 (4) pp. 1297-1306. 10.1007/s10803-015-2669-1. Green open access

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Abstract

This mixed-methods study examined gender differences in the social motivation and friendship experiences of adolescent boys and girls with autism relative to those without autism, all educated within special education settings. Autistic girls showed similar social motivation and friendship quality to non-autistic girls, while autistic boys reported having both qualitatively different friendships and less motivation for social contact relative to boys without autism and to girls with and without autism. Semi-structured interviews with the adolescents corroborated these findings, with one exception: autistic girls reported high levels of relational aggression within their friendships, suggesting that girls on the autism spectrum in particular may struggle with identifying and dealing with conflict in their social lives.

Type: Article
Title: Gender Differences in the Social Motivation and Friendship Experiences of Autistic and Non-autistic Adolescents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2669-1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2669-1
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2015. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Autism Gender Girls Friendship Peer relationships Social motivation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475314
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