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The impact of a school-based musical contact intervention on prosocial attitudes, emotions and behaviours: A pilot trial with autistic and neurotypical children

journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by A Cook, J Ogden, Naomi WinstoneNaomi Winstone
Children with autism are more likely to be socially excluded than their neurotypical peers. Since the majority of children with autism attend mainstream schools, interventions are needed to improve the attitudes and behaviours of their peers. Many studies highlight the influence of contact on positive attitudes and reduced discrimination. Group music-making provides an ideal opportunity for positive contact to occur in the classroom. This study evaluated the impact of music-based contact with autistic peers on the attitudes, emotions and behaviours of neurotypical children. Changes in those with autism were also assessed. Neurotypical participants ( n = 55) aged 10–11 years took part in an 11-week music programme designed to increase social interaction, which either did or did not include contact with autistic children ( n = 10). Measures of attitudes, emotions and behaviours were assessed at baseline and follow-up. In response to a hypothetical scenario depicting social exclusion of a child with autism, neurotypical participants in the contact group showed a greater increase in prosocial emotions and a greater decrease in tendency to be a victim than those in the no-contact group. Participants with autism also showed a 19.7% decrease in victimisation. Implications of group music-making for tackling social exclusion of children with autism are discussed.

History

Journal

Autism

Volume

23

Issue

4

Pagination

933 - 942

Publisher

SAGE

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1362-3613

eISSN

1461-7005

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal