Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP
Daniel H. Ingram, Psy.D., Chairperson
Rosemary B. Mennuti, Ed.D.
Susan Clements, Psy.D.
This study explored the self- perceived social competence of adolescents with Aspergers Syndrome (AS). The study's participants were 14 adolescents (11 male, 3 female) between the ages of 10 and 17 years old who were diagnosed with AS. The participants were questioned, using a scripted set of seven questions involving their own perceptions of their interactions with their peers; the study also involved what adults (parents and teachers) think of their ability to get along with peers. The answers to these questions were analyzed qualitatively, and six common themes that the participants found important to them or to their peers' interactions with others were extracted from their responses. These themes were friendliness/approachability, being misunderstood by others, interests, communication, viewing self as different and perception of AS. The impact and interactions of these themes and the ways in which the participants view the impact of these factors on their social interactions are discussed in depth. Overall, the majority of the participants reported a positive perception of their social competency skills. They largely saw AS as consisting of a profile of strengths and weaknesses, but were overall satisfied with their interactions with peers. Although more research is needed, these findings may bring into question the effectiveness of social interaction intervention programs on a population that may feel that such interventions are unnecessary.
Mullen, Shawn M., "Adolescents with Aspergers Syndrome and Self-perceived Social Competence" (2009). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 108.