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The effect of school exposure and personal contact on attitudes towards bullying and autism in schools: A cohort study with a control group

Cook, Anna, Ogden, Jane and Winstone, Naomi (2020) The effect of school exposure and personal contact on attitudes towards bullying and autism in schools: A cohort study with a control group Autism.

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Abstract

Research shows that the attitudes of children and adolescents towards bullying are influenced by the school environment and their peer groups. Given the increased vulnerability to bullying for autistic children, this study explored whether neurotypical children’s attitudes towards bullying and autism varied according to school exposure and personal contact with autistic people. Survey data were collected at the beginning and end of the school year from 775 children aged 11-12, from six schools: three with specialist centres for autism and three without. Participants read vignettes depicting bullying scenarios then completed measures of their attitudes in relation to the vignette and towards autism. Children from centre schools showed a greater increase in prosocial emotions towards bullying. For children from non-centre schools, an interaction showed a decrease in prosocial emotions except in response to social exclusion of an autistic child. Increases in personal contact showed a greater increase in positive attitudes towards autistic people. Explanations draw on theories of inter-group contact and social-moral reasoning. Results highlight the need for contact both at a personal level and through attending a school with an inclusive autism provision to increase understanding, improve attitudes towards autism and reduce tolerance for bullying.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Cook, Annaanna.cook@surrey.ac.uk
Ogden, JaneJ.Ogden@surrey.ac.uk
Winstone, NaomiN.Winstone@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 15 July 2020
Funders : National Autistic Society
DOI : 10.1177/1362361320937088
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2020
Additional Information : Embargo OK Metadata OK No Further Action
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 24 Jul 2020 12:32
Last Modified : 24 Jul 2020 12:32
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/858293

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