The effect of ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorder’ labels on the responses of college students towards peers

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Autism Journal

Managing social interactions within the college/university environment can prove challenging for those with austistic spectrum disorders, but equally the reactions and responses of other peers can be important in making progress. Mark Brosnan and Elizabeth Mills' report seek to explore the effects of diagnostic labels in situations of social interaction. Do such labels explain the situation to peers or rather act to isolate individuals?

This report analyzes the responses of higher education students after reading fictitous scenarios, some of which include diagnostic labels and some that don't. The report argues that the way in which it fails to find a link between poor prior knowledge of autism and a more negative reaction might suggest that attitudes towards mental health have improved among the general public more broadly.

Authors: Mark Brosnan and Elizabeth Mills, Article first published online: 4 JUN 2015

Publisher: Sage Journals / National Autistic Society