A multi-method assessment of study strategies in higher education students with an autism spectrum disorder

Tops, W., Van Den Bergh, A., Noens, I. & Baeyens, D. Oct-2017 In : Learning and Individual Differences. 59, p. 141-148 8 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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  • A multi-method assessment of study strategies

    Final publisher's version, 234 KB, PDF-document


  • Wim Tops
  • An Van Den Bergh
  • Ilse Noens
  • Dieter Baeyens
Recent research shows that the number of students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in higher education is increasing. However they seem to have lower academic success rates and lower chances of graduating from HE than their peer students.
In this study we focused on the study skills and study strategies of bachelor students with ASD in comparison to their peer students without ASD. This study is the first to use a multi-method design to answer these questions, combining a self-report study strategies inventory and empirical think-aloud protocols.
Three main research questions are dealt with in this study. First, do students with ASD find it more difficult to select relevant information in their study materials compared to their peer students? Next, are students with ASD worse in academic planning and purposeful acting for school in comparison to a group of control students? Finally, are students with ASD metacognitively weaker than bachelor students without ASD?
No difference was found for motivation and fear of failure between the students with ASD and the typically developing peers. Students with ASD also performed equally well as controls for time managment. It was shown however that bachelor students with ASD had more problems with the selection of relevant information in study materials compared to peer students without ASD.
Our results relate to the three dominant explanatory models for ASD (EF, ToM, CC). Importantly, they also contribute considerably to the available evidence in the field, determining a profile of both strengths and weaknesses in order to develop better and more specific guidance protocols for students with ASD in HE. Implications for guidance of HE students with ASD are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Oct-2017

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