Autism Research Opportunity -- Friendships

We are inviting children with ASD, their parents and their typically developing peers to participate in interviews about making and maintaining friends. Through these one-on-one interviews we want to learn about how children with an ASD think about making and maintaining friendships. We would like to know how they define “friend”. How they know when a person wants to be their friend and how they let another person know when they want to be their friend. We want to know how they think people meet friends, and what needs to be done to keep a friendship going over time. Participants do not have to have been successful in making friends or keeping friends to be eligible to participate in this project.

We want to learn what parents think about their child with ASD’s friends and the role the parent plays in the friendship making process. Finally, we want to obtain information from typically developing children so we can see how the responses provided by the children with ASD are similar to, and/or different from, the responses of the typically developing children.

Who will participate in the interviews?

People who want to participate must be:
 Either a person with an ASD, the parent of a person with an ASD or a typically developing peer of a person with an ASD,
 Between the ages of 8 and 12, for the children with ASD and the typically developing peers, or be over 18, for the parents,
 Fluent in English and speak English as his or her primary language

How will participants be involved in the study?

Participants will take part in 1 hour-long interview. This interview will take place via Skype (a free online video call program). The interview will be conducted by a researcher who has experience with individuals with ASD and with using interviews for research purposes.

If you are interested:

Please contact:

Erinn Finke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
308 Ford Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA 16802.
Phone: (814) 867-4340

*This Project has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects at The Pennsylvania State University. All procedures will be explained fully, and informed consent will be received from all participants before any research activities begin.