Studies to date have failed to agree on a consensus as to whether people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are more likely to be compliant in their behaviour. Victimisation and ostracism have been shown to increase compliance in the typically developing population. The study objective was to ascertain whether people with ASD are more compliant than typically developing individuals, using both self-report and a novel experimental test of compliance. The role of victimisation, anxiety, fear of negative evaluation and self-esteem, which have been shown to be related to increased compliance, was also assessed. A cross sectional design was utilised, and compared 19 people with ASD and 19 age and gender matched typically developing controls. The ASD group were significantly more compliant on self-reported compliance compared with the control group. However, no differences were found in observed compliance. Of the psychological constructs, only anxiety was found to be significantly higher in the ASD group. In the ASD group, there appeared to be a relationship between higher levels of past victimisation and self-reported compliance, with this relationship trending towards significance. Hierarchal multiple regression demonstrated that a significant amount of the variance in self-reported compliance was accounted for by fear of negative evaluation and a history of victimisation. These results would suggest that individuals with ASD who have experienced victimisation and ostracism are also likely to have a tendency towards over compliance; this finding has important implications across a range of settings.
|Date of Award||28 Aug 2015|
|Supervisor||Paul Salkovskis (Supervisor)|