A specialist peer mentoring program for university students on the autism spectrum: A pilot study

Siew, Choo Ting, Mazzucchelli, Trevor G, Rooney, Rosanna and Girdler, Sonya (2017) A specialist peer mentoring program for university students on the autism spectrum: A pilot study. PloS one, 12 7: e0180854. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180854


Author Siew, Choo Ting
Mazzucchelli, Trevor G
Rooney, Rosanna
Girdler, Sonya
Title A specialist peer mentoring program for university students on the autism spectrum: A pilot study
Journal name PloS one   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2017-07-13
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0180854
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 12
Issue 7
Start page e0180854
Abstract The provision of peer mentoring may improve tertiary education outcomes of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study evaluated the pilot year of the Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program (CSMP), a specialised peer mentoring program for university students with ASD aimed at improving self-reported well-being, academic success and retention in university studies.

A single group pre-test, post-test design was employed. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations were undertaken with 10 young adults with ASD to explore the effectiveness and acceptability of the CSMP program. Students completed a battery of questionnaires focused on general anxiety, state communication apprehension, perceived communication competence, and communication apprehension both prior to, and five months after commencing enrolment in the CSMP. Information regarding academic success and retention was also obtained. Interviews with participants provided further insight into their experience of the program.

Students enrolled in the CSMP showed significant improvement in social support and general communication apprehension assessment scores. Interviews revealed key features of the CSMP that may have contributed to these positive outcomes.

The current study provides preliminary evidence that a specialised peer mentoring program can improve the well-being of students with ASD, and highlights the importance of interventions which are individualised, flexible, based on a social model, and target environmental factors such as social support.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Pubmed Import
 
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Created: Wed, 02 May 2018, 14:20:50 EST