Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 2639–2647 | Cite as

Correlates of Police Involvement Among Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Ami Tint
  • Anna M. Palucka
  • Elspeth Bradley
  • Jonathan A. Weiss
  • Yona LunskyEmail author
Original Paper


This study aimed to describe police interactions, satisfaction with police engagement, as well as examine correlates of police involvement among 284 adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) followed over a 12- to 18-month period. Approximately 16% of individuals were reported to have some form of police involvement during the study period. Aggressive behaviors were the primary concern necessitating police involvement. Individuals with police involvement were more likely to be older, have a history of aggression, live outside the family home, and have parents with higher rates of caregiver strain and financial difficulty at baseline. Most parents reported being satisfied to very satisfied with their children’s police encounters. Areas for future research are discussed in relation to prevention planning.


Police Autism spectrum disorder Criminal justice system Victimization 



This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [MOP 102677]. Dr. Weiss is supported by the Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research (Canadian Institutes of Health Research #284208 in partnership with NeuroDevNet, Sinneave Family Foundation, CASDA, Autism Speaks Canada, and Health Canada). The authors would like to thank all of the families for their time and participation.

Author Contributions

YL, JAW, AMP and EB were the primary creators of the concept and design of this study. The analytic approach was created by YL and AT. AT and YL were responsible for creating the first draft and integrating all co-author input. All co-authors contributed substantively to the interpretation of the results and to draft revisions, and have approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ami Tint
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna M. Palucka
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elspeth Bradley
    • 3
  • Jonathan A. Weiss
    • 1
  • Yona Lunsky
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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