Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 1070–1083 | Cite as

A Review of Peer-Mediated Social Interaction Interventions for Students with Autism in Inclusive Settings

  • Laci WatkinsEmail author
  • Mark O’Reilly
  • Michelle Kuhn
  • Cindy Gevarter
  • Giulio E. Lancioni
  • Jeff Sigafoos
  • Russell Lang
Original Paper


This review addresses the use of peer-mediated interventions (PMI) to improve the social interaction skills of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in inclusive settings. The purpose of this review is to (a) identify the characteristics and components of peer-mediated social interaction interventions, (b) evaluate the effectiveness of PMI by offering an analysis of intervention results and research design, and (c) suggest directions for future research. Overall, results suggest that PMI is a promising treatment for increasing social interaction in children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD in inclusive settings, with positive generalization, maintenance, and social validity outcomes. Findings also suggest that participant characteristics and the type of social deficit an individual exhibits are important considerations when choosing the optimal configuration of PMI strategies.


Autism Peer-mediated intervention Peer interaction Social skills Inclusive education Literature review 


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the review

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laci Watkins
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark O’Reilly
    • 1
  • Michelle Kuhn
    • 1
  • Cindy Gevarter
    • 1
  • Giulio E. Lancioni
    • 2
  • Jeff Sigafoos
    • 3
  • Russell Lang
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Special Education, 1912 Speedway, D5300The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience and Sense OrgansUniversity of BariBariItaly
  3. 3.School of Educational PsychologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Clinic for Autism Research, Evaluation, and SupportTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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