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Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2007 Jul-Sep;30(3):87-107.

Peer victimization in adolescents and young adults diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome: a link to depressive symptomatology, anxiety symptomatology and suicidal ideation.

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Rhode Island College, School of Social Work, Providence, Rhode Island 02908, USA.


The present exploratory study examined the level of peer victimization, depressive symptomatology, anxiety symptomatology, and level of suicidal ideation among adolescents and young adults diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). This cross-sectional study used a self-administrated mail questionnaire and a Web-based questionnaire. The study included two samples. The first sample used snowball sampling, beginning with parents of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with AS who participated in a qualitative study conducted in 2002. The second sample consisted of a volunteer sample of parents who accessed Web sites for parents and individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A total sample of 10 adolescents and young adults diagnosed with AS was obtained. The high proportion of respondents with scores above the cutoff point on the overt victimization and relational victimization scales suggests that these adolescents and young adults experienced high levels of victimization. Of the sample, 20 percent met criteria for a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, 30 percent met criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and 50 percent had clinically significant level of suicidal ideation.

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