Ethnicity reporting practices for empirical research in three autism-related journals

J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Jul;44(7):1507-19. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2041-x.


This review examines ethnicity reporting in three autism-related journals (Autism, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders) over a 6-year period. A comprehensive multistep search of articles is used to identify ethnicity as a demographic variable in these three journals. Articles that identified research participants' ethnicity were further analyzed to determine the impact of ethnicity as a demographic variable on findings of each study. The results indicate that ethnicity has not been adequately reported in these three autism related journals even though previous recommendations have been made to improve inadequacies of descriptive information of research participants in autism research (Kistner and Robbins in J Autism Dev Disord 16:77-82, 1986). Implications for the field of autism spectrum disorders are discussed in addition to further recommendations for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / ethnology*
  • Child
  • Empirical Research
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Research Design