Are autistic children more vulnerable online? Relating autism to online safety, child wellbeing and parental risk management

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Abstract

Many autistic children are active online users. Research suggests that they are subject to distress and poor wellbeing following online safety threats. However, it is unclear if autistic children are more likely to experience online safety risks compared with non-autistic children. We conducted a parental online safety survey. Two groups of parents (autistic children, n=63; non-autistic children, n= 41) completed questionnaires about their child’s online safety behaviours, wellbeing, and their own parental self-efficacy (PSE). Our results highlight that autistic children experience significantly more online safety risks than non-autistic children and poorer wellbeing than autistic children who did not experience online safety risks. Parents of autistic children reported carrying out significantly less risk management and reported poorer PSE than parents of non-autistic children. Having an autistic child and parental online safety knowledge were significant predictors of PSE. These results will help inform the co-design of interventions to protect autistic children online.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI 2020)
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jun 2020
Event11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2020 - Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: 25 Oct 202029 Oct 2020
https://nordichi2020.org/

Conference

Conference11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2020
Abbreviated titleNordiCHI 2020
CountryEstonia
CityTallinn
Period25/10/2029/10/20
Internet address

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    Macmillan, K., Berg, T., Just, M., & Stewart, M. E. (Accepted/In press). Are autistic children more vulnerable online? Relating autism to online safety, child wellbeing and parental risk management. In 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI 2020) Association for Computing Machinery.