ERIC Number: EJ1200847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
First Impressions of Adults with Autism Improve with Diagnostic Disclosure and Increased Autism Knowledge of Peers
Sasson, Noah J.; Morrison, Kerrianne E.
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v23 n1 p50-59 Jan 2019
A practical consideration for many intellectually able adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is whether to disclose their diagnostic status or try to mask their autistic characteristics to avoid judgment and discrimination. Here, we assessed first impressions of adults with ASD and typically developing controls (N = 40) made by typically developing observers (N = 215) when their diagnostic status was either withheld, accurately provided, or inaccurately provided. First impressions were less favorable for ASD participants compared to typically developing controls across a range of judgments, but were significantly more positive when accurately labeled as ASD compared to when no label was provided, when mislabeled as typically developing, or when mislabeled as having schizophrenia. For typically developing participants, ratings did not change when accurately labeled but improved when mislabeled as ASD. Greater autistic traits for the ASD and typically developing participants were associated with less favorable first impressions, and females were rated more favorably than males. Autism knowledge of the raters, but not age, IQ, or autistic traits, was positively associated with more favorable impressions of ASD participants. Collectively, these findings suggest that first impressions for intellectually able adults with ASD improve with diagnostic disclosure and increased autism understanding on the part of peers.
Descriptors: Adults, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Self Disclosure (Individuals), Clinical Diagnosis, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Gender Differences, Age Differences, Intelligence Quotient, Achievement Tests, Interpersonal Relationship, Individual Characteristics
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://sagepub.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; Wide Range Achievement Test