Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Children with autism spectrum disorders tend to be fascinated by screen-based technology. A new study found that adolescents with autism (64.2 percent) spend most of their free time using solitary, or non-social, screen-based media (television and video games) while only 13.2 percent spend time on socially interactive media (e-mail, Internet chatting).

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to be fascinated by screen-based technology. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that adolescents with autism spend the majority of their free time using non-social media, including television and video-games.

"Even though parents and clinicians have often observed that children with ASD tend to be preoccupied with screen-based media, ours is the first large-scale study to explore this issue," said Micah Mazurek, assistant professor in the School of Health Professions and the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. "We found that 64 percent of adolescents with ASD spent most of their free time watching TV and playing video and computer games. These rates were much higher than among those with other types of disabilities. On the other hand, adolescents with ASD were less likely to spend time using email and social media."

The majority of youths with ASD (64.2 percent) spend most of their free time using solitary, or non-social, screen-based media (television and video games) while only 13.2 percent spend time on socially interactive media (email, internet chatting).

This is the first study to examine the prevalence of screen-based media use within a large nationally representative sample of youths with ASD. Data were compiled from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2, a group of more than 1,000 adolescents enrolled in special education. The study includes youths with ASD, learning and intellectual disabilities, and speech and language impairments.

The findings affirm that solitary screen-based media use represents a primary and preferred activity for a large percentage of youths with ASD, Mazurek said. Previously, researchers found that excessive use of these media in typically developing children is detrimental to outcomes, with regard to academic performance, social engagement, behavioral regulation, attention and health.

"This is an important issue for adolescents with ASD and their families. Studies have shown that excessive use of TV and video games can have negative long-term effects for typically developing children," Mazurek said. "In future studies, we need to learn more about both positive and negative aspects of media use in children with ASD. We need to look for ways to capitalize on strengths and interests in screen-based technology."

Mazurek is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Psychology. The study was co-authored by Paul Shattuck, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University; Mary Wagner, principal scientist at SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute; and Benjamin Cooper, a graduate student at the Brown School.

The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The research was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Organization for Autism Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Micah O. Mazurek, Paul T. Shattuck, Mary Wagner, Benjamin P. Cooper. Prevalence and Correlates of Screen-Based Media Use Among Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1413-8

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125143115.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2012, January 25). Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125143115.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125143115.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


How Kids With Autism Spend Screen Time

Jan. 25, 2012 Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) tend to be preoccupied with screen-based media. A new study looks at how children with ASDs spend their “screen time.” Researchers found a very high ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins