Project Title

The Role of Diagnostic Labels on Perceptions of Behavior

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Tracie Stewart

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that impacts individuals’ social, communication, and behavioral abilities. There are certain stigmas surrounding the diagnostic label of autism, some negative and some positive. The purpose of this study is to explore the stigmas associated with children who have been diagnosed with autism versus children who have not been diagnosed. This study also explores if age is a factor in the stigmas surrounding autism. We hypothesized that people will show more sympathy towards a child who has been diagnosed with autism than they would show towards a child who has not been diagnosed. Additionally, we believe that people will be more judgmental of a child’s parents when there is no label of autism than when the label of autism is present. Finally, we predict that people will show lower levels of comfort when the label of autism is not present versus when the label is present. To examine the results of these hypotheses, we surveyed students from around the campus of Kennesaw State University. The results showed that our initial hypotheses were both correct and false. Children with the label of autism were shown to receive slightly higher sympathetic reactions and less parental judgment. However, comfort level did not show any significant results. Also, age of the child did not yield significant results when shown alongside the label.

Project Type

Poster

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The Role of Diagnostic Labels on Perceptions of Behavior

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that impacts individuals’ social, communication, and behavioral abilities. There are certain stigmas surrounding the diagnostic label of autism, some negative and some positive. The purpose of this study is to explore the stigmas associated with children who have been diagnosed with autism versus children who have not been diagnosed. This study also explores if age is a factor in the stigmas surrounding autism. We hypothesized that people will show more sympathy towards a child who has been diagnosed with autism than they would show towards a child who has not been diagnosed. Additionally, we believe that people will be more judgmental of a child’s parents when there is no label of autism than when the label of autism is present. Finally, we predict that people will show lower levels of comfort when the label of autism is not present versus when the label is present. To examine the results of these hypotheses, we surveyed students from around the campus of Kennesaw State University. The results showed that our initial hypotheses were both correct and false. Children with the label of autism were shown to receive slightly higher sympathetic reactions and less parental judgment. However, comfort level did not show any significant results. Also, age of the child did not yield significant results when shown alongside the label.