The effect of diagnostic labels on the affective responses of college students towards peers with 'Asperger's Syndrome' and 'Autism Spectrum Disorder'

Mark Brosnan, Elizabeth Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Given the removal of Asperger's Syndrome label in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition, the impact of clinical labels upon the affective responses of college students was explored. A total of 120 college students read two vignettes depicting social interactions typical of a person with autism spectrum disorder. In one vignette, they were informed that the character was a typical college student and in the other, the character had a clinical disorder (either autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's Syndrome or Schizophrenia). Participants' affective responses were measured on the Positive and Negative Affect Scale. No significant differences in positive and negative affective responses were found between the clinical labels. However, affective responses were significantly more positive and less negative towards behaviours associated with clinical groups compared to the typical college student. The implications for students disclosing their diagnosis at university are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
JournalAutism
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date4 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • affective response
  • Asperger's Syndrome
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • label

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