Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Understandings and Experiences of Bullying: Impact on Students on the Autism Spectrum*

  • Beth Saggers (a1), Marilyn Campbell (a1), Julie Dillon-Wallace (a1), Jill Ashburner (a2), Yoon-Suk Hwang (a3), Suzanne Carrington (a1) and Megan Tones (a1)...

Abstract

In this qualitative study, we explored the perspectives of 10 adolescents with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their experiences of bullying. Through individual semistructured interviews, they were asked to describe their understandings and experiences of bullying. Details of their experiences are described as well as the perceived impact on the students and their schooling. Data analysis revealed a number of common experiences including high rates of traditional bullying and more specifically verbal bullying, with fewer incidents of cyberbullying reported. In support of literature in the area, the results of the study indicate that bullying can be a significant inhibitor, which may prevent students with ASD from taking full advantage of their schooling. Listening to and reflecting on the voices and personal stories of adolescent students with ASD is critically important for developing more supportive approaches to their education and needs. The reports of bullying by students on the autism spectrum emphasises the need for more effective interventions and management strategies to be implemented in a whole-school approach as well as targeted strategies to prevent bullying experiences for this particular population of students.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Beth Saggers, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Qld 4059, Australia. Email: b.saggers@qut.edu.au

Footnotes

Hide All
*

This manuscript was accepted under the Editorship of Umesh Sharma.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Aboujaoude, E. (2011). Virtually you: The dangerous powers of the e-personality. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
Autism Awareness. (2014). #autism2014: A national survey of autism parents and carers: Summary Report. Retrieved from http://www.autismawareness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Autism2014-Survery-Summary-Report-for-AAA.pdf
Bitsika, V., & Sharpley, C. F. (2014). Understanding, experiences, and reactions to bullying experiences in boys with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26, 747761. doi:10.1007/s10882-014-9393-1
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Bryman, A. (2001). Social research methods. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Cappadocia, M. C., Weiss, J. A., & Pepler, D. (2012). Bullying experiences among children and youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 266277. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1241-x
Carter, S. (2009). Bullying of students with Asperger syndrome. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 32, 145154. doi:10.1080/01460860903062782
Chen, P.-Y., & Schwartz, I. S. (2012). Bullying and victimization experiences of students with autism spectrum disorders in elementary schools. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 27, 200212. doi:10.1177/1088357612459556
Chisholm, J. F. (2014). Review of the status of cyberbullying and cyberbullying prevention. Journal of Information Systems Education, 25 (1), 7787.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hearn, L., Epstein, M., Monks, H., Lester, L., & Thomas, L. (2009). Australian covert bullying prevalence study (ACBPS). Perth: Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowan University.
Delfabbro, P., Winefield, T., Trainer, S., Dollard, M., Anderson, S., Metzer, J., & Hammarstrom, A. (2006). Peer and teacher bullying/victimization of South Australian secondary school students: Prevalence and psychosocial profiles. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 7190. doi:10.1348/000709904X24645
Didden, R., Scholte, R. H. J., Korzilius, H., de Moor, J. M. H., Vermeulen, A., O'Reilly, M., . . . Lancioni, G. E. (2009). Cyberbullying among students with intellectual and developmental disability in special education settings. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 12, 146151. doi:10.1080/17518420902971356
Dombeck, M. (2014). The long term effects of bullying. Retrieved from http://aaets.org/article204.htm
Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62, 107115. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x
Hebron, J., & Humphrey, N. (2014). Exposure to bullying among students with autism spectrum conditions: A multi-informant analysis of risk and protective factors. Autism, 18, 618630. doi:10.1177/1362361313495965
Humphrey, N., & Lewis, S. (2008). ‘Make me normal’: The views and experiences of pupils on the autistic spectrum in mainstream secondary schools. Autism, 12, 2346. doi:10.1177/1362361307085267
Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2010). Perceptions of social support and experience of bullying among pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream schools. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25, 7791. doi:10.1080/08856250903450855
Kokina, A., & Lee, K. (2010). Social Story™ interventions for students with autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 812826. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0931-0
Kowalski, R. M., & Fedina, C. (2011). Cyber bullying in ADHD and Asperger syndrome populations. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 12011208. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2011.01.007
Lawson, W. (2001). Understanding and working with the spectrum of autism: An insider's view. London, UK: Kingsley.
Little, L. (2001). Peer victimization of children with Asperger spectrum disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 995996. doi:10.1097/00004583-200109000-00007
Maïano, C., Normand, C. L., Salvas, M.-C., Moullec, G., & Aimé, A. (2016). Prevalence of school bullying among youth with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Autism Research, 9, 601615. doi:10.1002/aur.1568
Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative content analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1 (2), 110. Retrieved from http://217.160.35.246/fqs-texte/2-00/2-00mayring-e.pdf
Mertens, D. M. (2007). Transformative paradigm: Mixed methods and social justice. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1, 212225. doi:10.1177/1558689807302811
Mishna, F., Saini, M., & Solomon, S. (2009). Ongoing and online: Children and youth's perceptions of cyber bullying. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 12221228. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2009.05.004
Molnar-Main, S., Bisbing, K., Blackburn, S., Galkowski, L., Garrity, R., Morris, C., . . . Singer, J. (2014). Integrating bullying prevention and restorative practices in schools: Considerations for practitioners and policymakers. Retrieved from http://www.safeschools.info/content/BPRPWhitePaper2014.pdf
Monks, C. P., & Smith, P. K. (2006). Definitions of bullying: Age differences in understanding of the term, and the role of experience. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 801821. doi:10.1348/026151005X82352
Monks, C. P., Smith, P. K., Naylor, P., Barter, C., Ireland, J. L., & Coyne, I. (2009). Bullying in different contexts: Commonalities, differences and the role of theory. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14, 146156. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2009.01.004
Nowell, K. P., Brewton, C. M., & Goin-Kochel, R. P. (2014). A multi-rater study on being teased among children/adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their typically developing siblings: Associations with ASD symptoms. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 29, 195205. doi:10.1177/1088357614522292
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Olweus, D., & Limber, S. P. (2010). Bullying in school: Evaluation and dissemination of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80 (1), 124134. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01015.x
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Peters, S. J. (2010). The heterodoxy of student voice: Challenges to identity in the sociology of disability and education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31, 591602. doi:10.1080/01425692.2010.500092
Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support. (2016). Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports: OSEP Technical Assistance Center. Retrieved from https://www.pbis.org/
QSR International. (2014). NVivo 10 for Windows [Computer software]. Melbourne, Australia: QSR International Pty Ltd.
Rettew, D. C., & Pawlowski, S. (2016). Bullying. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 25, 235242. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2015.12.002
Rigby, K. (2002). New perspectives on bullying. London, UK: Kingsley.
Rose, C. A., Monda-Amaya, L. E., & Espelage, D. L. (2011). Bullying perpetration and victimization in special education: A review of the literature. Remedial and Special Education, 32, 114130. doi:10.1177/0741932510361247
Ryan, B. (2016). ‘Why single me out?’ Peer mentoring, autism and inclusion in mainstream secondary schools. British Journal of Special Education, 43, 272288. doi:10.1111/1467-8578.12136
Schroeder, J. H., Cappadocia, M. C., Bebko, J. M., Pepler, D. J., & Weiss, J. A. (2014). Shedding light on a pervasive problem: A review of research on bullying experiences among children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 15201534. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-2011-8
Shaw, T., & Cross, D. (2012). The clustering of bullying and cyberbullying behaviour within Australian schools. Australian Journal of Education, 56, 142162. doi:10.1177/000494411205600204
Slonje, R., & Smith, P. K. (2008). Cyberbullying: Another main type of bullying? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 147154. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9450.2007.00611.x
Smith, P. K., & Monks, C. P. (2008). Concepts of bullying: Developmental and cultural aspects. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20, 101112. doi:10.1515/IJAMH.2008.20.2.101
Spears, C. L., & Turner, V. L. (2011). Rising to new heights of communication and learning for children with autism: The definitive guide to using alternative-augmentative communication, visual strategies, and learning supports at home and school. London, UK: Kingsley.
Sterzing, P. R., Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Wagner, M., & Cooper, B. P. (2012). Bullying involvement and autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence and correlates of bullying involvement among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166, 10581064. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.790
Thomas, H. J., Connor, J. P., & Scott, J. G. (2015). Integrating traditional bullying and cyberbullying: Challenges of definition and measurement in adolescents – A review. Educational Psychology Review, 27, 135152. doi:10.1007/s10648-014-9261-7
van der Wal, M. F., de Wit, C. A. M., & Hirasing, R. A. (2003). Psychosocial health among young victims and offenders of direct and indirect bullying. Pediatrics, 111, 13121317. doi:10.1542/peds.111.6.1312
van Roekel, E., Scholte, R. H. J., & Didden, R. (2010). Bullying among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence and perception. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 6373. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0832-2
Yonezawa, S., & Jones, M. (2009). Student voices: Generating reform from the inside out. Theory Into Practice, 48, 205212. doi:10.1080/00405840902997386
Zeedyk, S. M., Rodriguez, G., Tipton, L. A., Baker, B. L., & Blacher, J. (2014). Bullying of youth with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, or typical development: Victim and parent perspectives. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8, 11731183. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.06.001
Zins, J. E., Elias, M. J., & Maher, C. A. (2007). Bullying, victimization, and peer harassment: A handbook of prevention and intervention. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

Understandings and Experiences of Bullying: Impact on Students on the Autism Spectrum*

  • Beth Saggers (a1), Marilyn Campbell (a1), Julie Dillon-Wallace (a1), Jill Ashburner (a2), Yoon-Suk Hwang (a3), Suzanne Carrington (a1) and Megan Tones (a1)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed