Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Demaray, Michelle K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Psychology; Autism spectrum disorders in children--Research; Bullying in schools--Health aspects--Research; Anxiety in adolescence--Research; Autistic youth--Mental health; Autism--Psychological aspects--Research


This research study sought to better understand the relation between high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and victimization from bullying. The literature thus far has identified that youth with high functioning ASD are more likely to be victimized than typically developing peers or peers with other disabilities, yet relatively little work has been done to further understand this relation. The current study sought to better understand parent-child agreement rates regarding child experiences of victimization from bullying as well as how these rates differ depending upon a child's ASD presentation. Because of the way the unique social presentation of youth with ASD impacts their vulnerability, social skills, anxiety symptoms, and symptoms of ASD were examined as potential risk factors for victimization and levels of social support from differing sources were examined as protective factors. Lastly, the ability of ASD symptoms, social skills, and social support to each affect the relation between victimization and anxiety was also examined via a series of moderation analyses. Results of the study supported a moderate to high level of agreement between parent and youth reports of youth victimization. The majority of study predictions regarding other related variables were identified as nonsignificant; however, ASD symptoms were found to affect the relation between parent reports of youth victimization and parent reports of youth anxiety. Study findings are discussed regarding their implications for how to measure victimization amongst youth with ASD, the conceptualization of victimization and ASD, and in the context of directions for further research with this vulnerable population.


Advisors: Michelle K. Demaray.||Committee members: Christine Malecki; Nina Mounts; Bradford Pillow; Alecia Santuzzi; Kelly Summers.


196 pages




Northern Illinois University

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