Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Tabitha Payne


As young adults with ASD increasingly enter into colleges and universities, many are faced with issues of social impairment and isolation from their peer communities. (Gelbar et al. 2015; Jobe & White, 2006; Shattuck et al. 2012) Understanding ASD awareness and how it translates into genuine acceptance of those with ASD in college communities is a particularly important issue, as is understanding how to foster greater ASD acceptance among college age adults. The present study sought to explore potential predictors of ASD peer acceptance among college students, building off mixed past research and improving past methods. The results demonstrated a significant positive correlation between students’ quality of past experience with ASD and their acceptance of peers with ASD, though no significant relationship emerged between knowledge of ASD and acceptance of ASD peers. There was no direct relationship between students’ quantity of ASD experience and acceptance, however, quantity of ASD experience did positively correlate with the quality of ASD experience. Having a family member with ASD was not found to be a predictor of ASD acceptance, however, the closeness of participants’ relationships with family members with ASD was positively correlated with acceptance. Overall, these findings suggest colleges should focus on fostering more positive social engagement for students with ASD to improve community acceptance and attitudes.

Rights Statement

All rights reserved. This copy is provided to the Kenyon Community solely for individual academic use. For any other use, please contact the copyright holder for permission.