Differences in anxieties and social networks in a group matched sample of autistic and typically developing students transitioning to university

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Transitioning to university can be anxiety-provoking for all students. The relationship between social anxiety, autistic traits, and students’ social world structure, and perceived support is poorly understood. The current study used a group match design where autistic students (n = 28) and typically developing (TD) students (n = 28) were matched on sex, age (17-19 years), ethnicity, pre-university academic performance, and degree subject at university. Autistic students reported greater transition to university worries, and a smaller social network size compared to TD students, though perceived similar levels of support from their social networks. Autistic and TD students showed differential patterns of association with both autistic traits and social anxiety. Broader clinical and practical implications of findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date19 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Dec 2019


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • college
  • perceived social support
  • social anxiety
  • social network
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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