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The true extent of school bullying among youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) remains an underexplored area. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to: (a) assess the proportion of school-aged youth with ASD involved in school bullying as perpetrators, victims or both; (b) examine whether the observed prevalence estimates vary when different sources of heterogeneity related to the participants' characteristics and to the assessment methods are considered; and (c) compare the risk of school bullying between youth with ASD and their typically developing (TD) peers. A systematic literature search was performed and 17 studies met the inclusion criteria. The resulting pooled prevalence estimate for general school bullying perpetration, victimization and both was 10%, 44%, and 16%, respectively. Pooled prevalence was also estimated for physical, verbal, and relational school victimization and was 33%, 50%, and 31%, respectively. Moreover, subgroup analyses showed significant variations in the pooled prevalence by geographic location, school setting, information source, type of measures, assessment time frame, and bullying frequency criterion. Finally, school-aged youth with ASD were found to be at greater risk of school victimization in general, as well as verbal bullying, than their TD peers.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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