Friendship Expectations May be Similar for Mental Age-Matched Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Children
We assessed 3rd–5th grade children’s endorsement of 12 friendship expectations, in two mental age-matched (M = 10.15 years) groups; one with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; n = 20) and one with typical development (TD; n = 21). Groups rated friendship expectations similarly for all but one expectation, expressing care, which received significantly higher ratings in the ASD group. Overall expectation ratings were significantly and positively correlated with friendship quality in the ASD group (r = 0.43), but not the TD, group (r = 0.08). Expectations were not correlated with loneliness or self-worth in either group. In children with ASD, expectations pertaining to reliability/trust, kindness/caring, and help/reciprocity were rated highest, followed by togetherness/amusement, and finally by intimacy/disclosure.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Friendships Friendship expectations Friendship quality Loneliness
We would like to thank Jessica Barnes and Maryam Moravvej Farshi for their assistance in conducting this research. We would also like to thank the teachers and parents who assisted in coordinating or providing data, and the many participants who agreed to complete the interview surveys.
KBB participated in the study design, supervised data collection, conducted the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. CM coordinated recruitment and data collection, conducted participant interviews, and participated in editing the manuscript. JC participated in data collection, and in editing the manuscript. SYK assisted in data analysis and in editing the manuscript. JPM participated in the study design and statistical analysis, and edited the manuscript.
This research was not supported by any specific funding source.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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 parental consent and participant assent was obtained from all individuals prior to their participation in this study.
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