Peer Network Interventions for Secondary Students with ASD: Effects on Social Interaction and Bullying Victimization Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Sreckovic, Melissa
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may experience limited positive social interactions with their peers and high rates of bullying victimization, especially during adolescence when peer groups become more selective. Limited positive social interactions with peers and bullying victimization have been associated with a myriad of negative consequences. Adolescents with ASD often require targeted supports to help them develop positive peer relationships and to reduce frequency of bullying victimization. This study examined the effects of a school-based, social intervention for high school students with ASD. Three adolescent males with ASD participated in a peer network intervention. A single case, multiple-probe across participants design was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention on two elements of social interaction: initiations and responses to and from students with ASD. Additionally, this study employed questionnaires at four time points to explore the effects of the intervention on frequency of social contacts and bullying victimization of the participants with ASD. This study demonstrated that the implementation of the peer network intervention resulted in increases in initiations and responses to and from participants with ASD. Overall increases in social interaction, as indicated by comparing interactions across participants and phases, were substantial. Findings provide evidence that peer network interventions are effective for increasing the social interactions of high school students with ASD. Further, results indicate preliminary support for the use of peer networks as an intervention to increase rates of social contacts and reduce rates of bullying victimization among students with ASD.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Hume, Kara
  • Crais, Elizabeth
  • Able, Harriet
  • Odom, Samuel L.
  • Mesibov, Gary B.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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