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Association Between Facial Emotion Recognition and Bullying Involvement Among Adolescents With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Association Between Facial Emotion Recognition and Bullying Involvement Among Adolescents With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

Tai-Ling Liu et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction, communication and restricted and repetitive behavior. Few studies have focused on the effect of facial emotion recognition on bullying involvement among individuals with ASD. The aim of this study was to examine the association between facial emotion recognition and different types of bullying involvement in adolescents with high-functioning ASD. We recruited 138 adolescents aged 11 to 18 years with high-functioning ASD. The adolescents' experiences of bullying involvement were measured using the Chinese version of the School Bullying Experience Questionnaire. Their facial emotion recognition was measured using the Facial Emotion Recognition Task (which measures six emotional expressions and four degrees of emotional intensity). Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between facial emotion recognition and different types of bullying involvement. After controlling for the effects of age, gender, depression, anxiety, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity and opposition, we observed that bullying perpetrators performed significantly better on rating the intensity of emotion in the Facial Emotion Recognition Task; bullying victims performed significantly worse on ranking the intensity of facial emotion. The results of this study support the different deficits of facial emotion recognition in various types of bullying involvement among adolescents with high-functioning ASD. The different directions of association between bully involvement and facial emotion recognition must be considered when developing prevention and intervention programs.

Keywords: adolescents; autism spectrum disorder; bullying; facial emotion recognition.

Conflict of interest statement

All authors declared no conflicts of interest.

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