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J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Aug;42(8):1757-67. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1413-8.

Prevalence and correlates of screen-based media use among youths with autism spectrum disorders.

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Department of Health Psychology, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


Anecdotal reports indicate that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often preoccupied with television, computers, and video games (screen-based media). However, few studies have examined this issue. The current study examined screen-based media use among a large, nationally representative sample of youths participating in the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). The majority of youths with ASD (64.2%) spent most of their free time using non-social media (television, video games), while only 13.2% spent time on social media (email, internet chatting). Compared with other disability groups (speech/language impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities), rates of non-social media use were higher among the ASD group, and rates of social media use were lower. Demographic and symptom-specific correlates were also examined.

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