Bullying in Autism Spectrum Disorder: prevalence and consequences in adulthood

Serena Ferrigno, Giovanni Cicinelli, Roberto Keller

Mental Health Department, Local Health Unit ASL Città di Torino, Turin, Italy

DOI 10.36148/2284-0249-466

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by typical pattern of communication and relational skills associated with repetitive verbal and motor behaviors and restricted patterns of interest. Among neurodevelopmental disorders, autistic students are at increased likelihood of being bullying victims. In autism, bullying victimization is significantly associated with internalized and externalized symptoms and poor quality of life.

The present study aims to verify the presence of bullying victimization in autistic people, the distribution of such phenomenon among autism severity levels and inquires the presence of psychopathological co-occurrence in autistic adults who were victims of bullying with respect to non-bullied ones. The present study demonstrates that bullying is common among autistic people. Within autism wide expression range, bullying occurs in almost all situations related to ASD Level 1. Finally, bullying is a trigger for psychopathology in adolescence and adulthood.

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