Bullying Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Inge Zweers-Schrooten, Ron H.J. Scholte, Robert Didden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Students with disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are particularly vulnerable to be involved in bullying compared to their peers without ASD. Studies have found that students with ASD are at higher risk to be involved in bullying as a bully (i.e., perpetrator of bullying), a victim (i.e., victim of bullying), or bully-victim (i.e., both perpetrator and victim of bullying). However, due to the nature of their disability (e.g., difficulties in understanding others’ feelings and intentions, nonverbal behaviors, and nonliteral speech), it is unclear whether youth with ASD construe bullying and victimization in similar ways as typically developing youth. Researchers generally agree that bullying is characterized by three defining criteria – (1) negative actions, (2) carried out repeatedly and over time, (3) in an interpersonal relationship characterized by a power imbalance. Different forms of bullying exist: physical bullying (e.g., hitting, kicking, and damage to property), verbal bullying (e.g., name-calling, insulting, and making fun of another person), and relational bullying (e.g., exclusion, ignoring, and spreading rumors). More recent forms of bullying include cyberbullying (e.g., hurtful text messaging or emailing, and posting hurtful messages/objectionable content on websites and social networking sites).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Social Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder
EditorsJustin B. Leaf
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-62995-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-62994-0
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAutism and Child Psychopathology Series
ISSN (Print)2192-922X
ISSN (Electronic)2192-9238


  • Bullying 
  • Bullying Prevention


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