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Title: Social contact and attitudes towards university peers with autism spectrum disorder: the roles of empathy and competitive attitudes
Authors: Shariffah Munirah Syed Abd Jalil
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Shariffah Munirah Syed Abd Jalil (2022). Social contact and attitudes towards university peers with autism spectrum disorder: the roles of empathy and competitive attitudes. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: As a result of heightened awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in recent years, many children with ASD are able to receive early intervention and support in schools. Therefore, an increasing number of students diagnosed with ASD can consider and pursue a university education. Unfortunately, many students with ASD have reportedly faced challenges that hinder their educational success, such as peer rejection. This study sought to identify the relationships between factors, namely social contact, empathy, competitive attitudes, and openness towards university peers with ASD. The sample consisted of 93 undergraduates (27 males, 66 females; age range = 17 – 26 years) from Nanyang Technological University. Participants provided self-reports on the Contact with Disabled Persons Scale (CDP), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Competitive Attitudes Scale (CAS), and Openness Scale. On the Openness Scale, participants were randomly assigned to one of three vignettes describing an interaction with a university peer with ASD, before rating their attitudes towards them. Results suggest that social contact and openness towards peers with ASD are not associated. However, this study found significant associations between empathy and openness, as well as between competitive attitudes and openness. Higher empathy was found to be associated with more openness towards peers with ASD, while higher competitiveness was found to be associated with less openness towards them. No mediation effect of the investigated factors was found. This study may have implications for professionals who work in education as these findings can contribute to the understanding of barriers to peer acceptance of students with ASD and also inclusive education in Singapore. Findings from this study also highlight the need to facilitate more interaction between individuals with and without ASD in schools.
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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