Affective sharing, friendship, and outcomes among boys with autism spectrum disorders

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jenna Louise Mendelson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rosemery Nelson-Gray

Abstract: Research among typically developing boys aged 8-12 has found affective sharing to be a key distinguishing characteristic of friendship. However, to date no research exists that further examines and builds upon these findings among boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This study examined whether affective sharing (defined as positive social engagement and synchrony, which consisted of time spent in synchronous interaction and responsiveness) predicted friendship reciprocity and quality over and above opportunities to participate in activities with other children. Additionally, this study examined whether affective sharing, friendship reciprocity, and overall friendship quality are predictive of lower rates of internalizing symptoms and higher rates of adaptive behavior among boys with ASD. Findings suggest a comparable pattern of friendship behavior among children with ASD and typically developing (TD) boys during friend interactions, albeit with lower mean rates of affective sharing among children with ASD. However, affective sharing did not mediate the relation between participation in surface level activities with peers and friendship quality, internalizing symptoms, or adaptive behavior. Additionally, a distinct pattern of characteristics of children who were not able to identify a friend to participate in the second visit emerged among participants with ASD, suggesting differences may lie between children with ASD and TD peers without reciprocated friendships.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Affective Sharing, ASD, Friendship, Psychosocial Functioning, Synchrony
Autism spectrum disorders in children $x Social aspects
Children with autism spectrum disorders $x Social networks
Friendship in children
Interpersonal relations in children
Social skills in children

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