Term of Award

Summer 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Nicolette Rickert

Committee Member 1

Ryan Couillou

Committee Member 2

Lindsey Stone


Children with ASD often face socioemotional challenges compared to their typical developing classmates (Chamberlain et al., 2006; Deckers et al., 2017; Liu et al., 2021; Locke et al, 2010; Zeedyk et al., 2015). The objective of the current study was to assess the relationship between classroom isolation and social emotional experiences (i.e., social isolation, loneliness, self-efficacy with peers, and friendship quality) in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through self-report surveys in order to foster the best possible academic environment for children with ASD to succeed and create outlets for further research to be developed in regards to this subject. It was hypothesized that children with ASD who are isolated from their peers by being placed in a separate, non-typical classroom setting for longer periods of time (e.g., years vs. months) would feel more isolated and lonely, and have lower perceptions of self-efficacy, and friendship quality. The present study contained four scales assessing social emotional experiences employed on an online, anonymous survey. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were used to assess differences between groups of participants based on degree of isolation from the mainstream classroom and the dependent variables feelings of isolation, loneliness, self-efficacy with peers, and friendship quality. While findings of the current study did not exhibit differences between groups on feelings of isolation, loneliness, self-efficacy with peers, and friendship quality specific to conflict and compassion, results of the study did reveal that the longer participants were isolated from the mainstream classroom, the greater sense of friendship and closeness they experienced. Future research is needed to better understand how isolation relates to psychosocial experiences in children with ASD.

Research Data and Supplementary Material