Victimization and Perpetration Experiences of Adults with Autism
Weiss, Jonathan A.
Fardella, Michelle A.
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This study aimed to describe the self-reported experiences of childhood and adult victimization and perpetration in adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) compared to a matched sample, and how victimization and perpetration are associated with autism-related difficulties. Forty-five adults with ASC and 42 adults without ASC completed questionnaires regarding violence victimization and perpetration, emotion regulation, and sociocommunicative competence. Participants with ASC reported experiencing, as children, more overall victimization; specifically, more property crime, maltreatment, teasing/emotional bullying, and sexual assault by peers, compared to participants without ASC. Participants with ASC also reported experiencing more teasing/emotional bullying in adulthood and greater sexual contact victimization. No significant differences were found between groups on perpetration. Sociocommunicative ability and emotion regulation deficits did not explain the heightened risk for victimization. Individuals with ASC have an increased vulnerability to violence victimization, which speaks to the need for interventions, and proactive prevention strategies.
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