The development of friendships and sociality: exploring the friendships of people with autism

Brownlow, Charlotte and O'Dell, Lindsay and Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, Hanna (2012) The development of friendships and sociality: exploring the friendships of people with autism. In: 47th Annual Australasian Society for Intellectual Development Conference (ASID 2012): Research to Practice, 7-9 Nov 2012, Wellington, New Zealand.


Friendship is considered to be a key relationship for individuals, and much research has investigated the development and maintenance of friendships in typically developing children. Such research charts the basic elements common in friendships, and also the evolving complexity of relationships as an individual matures, with a typical trend seen in a movement away from shared activities, and towards more abstract values such as intimacy and loyalty. Researchers often draw on the positive elements of forming such social relationships, with expected benefits of early friendships important for long term development into adulthood. In contrast to the abundance of research of ‘typical friendships’, there is relatively little research done on the friendship of people with autism. In this paper we seek to question what implications these understandings of friendship might have for young people with autism, whose diagnosis draws heavily on concepts of ‘social impairment’. We propose that such a group may have alternative understandings of friendship and sociality, and these need to be explored more fully in order to understand alternative sociality’s and inform academic and professional debate.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Poster)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: All contents of the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability Web Site are: Copyright 2011 by Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability and/or its suppliers. All rights reserved.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2013 04:10
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 01:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: autistic children; socialisation; friends
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130312 Special Education and Disability
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920403 Disability and Functional Capacity

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