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In the DSM-5, ‘Asperger’s Disorder’ was incorporated into ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorder’ (ASD). One key concern in this change has been that the ASD label will increase negative attitudes relative to the Asperger’s label. To test this, we asked 465 American adults to read a vignette describing a child with autistic symptoms that included an ASD label, an Asperger’s label, or no label, and rate their stigma and treatment attitudes (help-seeking and perceived effectiveness). Contrary to predictions, label did not impact stigma. Label did impact treatment attitudes, with greater help-seeking and perceived treatment effectiveness for both Asperger’s and ASD labels. In sum, concern that the ASD label will increase negative perceptions, at least amongst the general public, is not supported.
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- Brief Report: The Impact of Changing from DSM-IV ‘Asperger’s’ to DSM-5 ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorder’ Diagnostic Labels on Stigma and Treatment Attitudes
Jeneva L. Ohan
Sarah E. Ellefson
Patrick W. Corrigan
- Springer US