Assessment of Sesame Street online autism resources: Impacts on parental implicit and explicit attitudes toward children with autism

Dickter, C.L., Burke, J.A., Gutermuth Anthony. L., et al. Assessment of Sesame Street online autism resources: Impacts on parental implicit and explicit attitudes toward children with autism (August 2020). Autismhttps://doi.org/10.1177/1362361320949346

This study looked at implicit bias toward children with autism and examined whether viewing educational materials about autism would change attitudes toward children with autism. A website developed by Sesame Street containing information about autism and resources for families was distributed to parents of children with autism and parents of children without autism. Results indicated that parents of children with autism showed less implicit bias compared with those of non-autistic children during the pre-test, but the groups did not differ at the post-test. Parents without autistic children and those with more negative explicit attitudes showed a greater reduction in implicit bias from the pre- to the post-test. In addition, for parents of children with autism, a more positive change in explicit attitudes and increased knowledge from the pre- to the post-test was associated with more empowerment at the post-test. The findings suggest that the online educational resources can reduce implicit bias against children with autism and help mitigate some of the psychological issues associated with parenting children with autism.

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