SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Hoogenhout, M., & Malcolm-Smith, S. (2016). Theory of mind predicts severity level in autism. Autism, pp. 1-11. doi:10.1177/1362361316636758

Learning Objective: 12.1
How does the asset support this Learning Objective? The article discusses the potential for using theory of mind skills to indicate autism spectrum disorder severity.

Summary: The authors investigated whether theory of mind skills can indicate autism spectrum disorder severity. In all, 62 children with autism spectrum disorder completed a developmentally sensitive theory of mind battery. The authors used intelligence quotient, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) diagnosis and level of support needed as indicators of severity level. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, and found three distinct clusters of theory of mind ability: early-developing theory of mind (Cluster 1), false-belief reasoning (Cluster 2) and sophisticated theory of mind understanding (Cluster 3). The clusters corresponded to severe, moderate and mild autism spectrum disorder. As an indicator of level of support needed, cluster grouping predicted the type of school children attended. All Cluster 1 children attended autism-specific schools; Cluster 2 was divided between autism-specific and special needs schools and nearly all Cluster 3 children attended general special needs and mainstream schools. Assessing theory of mind skills can reliably discriminate severity levels within autism spectrum disorder.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the theory of mind skills that relate to children with autism?
  2. What is the dimensional classification system for autism and what are the benefits of this type of classification system?
  3. What is the relationship between the theory of mind skills and the various levels of severity in autism?

Article 2: Lucas, S., Jernbro, C., Tindberg, Y., & Janson, S. (2015). Bully, bullied and abused: Associations between violence at home and bullying in childhood. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 44(1), 27-35.

Learning Objective: 12.5
How does the asset support this Learning Objective? The article discusses the association between children who have been exposed to violence in the home and the risk of exposure to bullying.

Summary: The aim was to examine experiences of bullying among Swedish adolescents and whether victims and perpetrators were also exposed to violence in the home, with particular focus on how abuse severity affected the risk of exposure to bullying. A nationally representative sample of pupils aged 14–15 responded to a questionnaire exploring exposure to corporal punishment and other types of violence. Among the 3197 respondents, a significant proportion reported at least one incident of either bullying victimization (girls 36%, boys 26%) or bullying perpetration (girls 24%, boys 36%). Physical and emotional violence in the home, including witnessed intimate partner violence, were significantly associated with both bullying victimization and bullying perpetration. Odds ratios for exposure to bullying rose with increasing frequency and severity of abuse. Adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.6 for any event of abuse vs. single episodes of bullying to 20.3 for multiple types of abuse vs. many episodes of bullying. The child’s gender and the presence of a chronic health condition were consistently associated with nearly all levels of abuse and bullying. Bullying experiences are common among youth and are clearly associated with abuse. Frequent bullying, whether as victim or perpetrator, warrants particular vigilance, as it appears to be an indicator of severe violence in the home.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the gender differences in bullying behavior?
  2. What types of abuse and what severity of abuse in the home are predictive of bullying behavior?
  3. What are some other behaviors and developmental factors associated with maltreated children that relate to bullying behavior?