The clinical utility of social information processing theory in assessing and treating offenders with autism spectrum disorder

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Social deficits are central within conceptualisations of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and separately linked to offending behaviour. Social problem-solving interventions are often used with offenders, but little research has examined the social information processing (SIP) skills of individuals with ASD and a history of criminal offending behaviours. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual paper will introduce the SIP model, review SIP research as applied to those with ASD and in forensic populations, and further consider the relevance to the assessment and treatment of offenders with ASD. Findings: Difficulties in all areas of the SIP model are noted in ASD and research suggests these difficulties may be directly linked to behaviour. Practical implications: It is possible that identifying SIP abilities and deficits could improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes for this group. Originality/value: This paper reviews the utility of social information models in the offending behaviour of people with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-171
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in Autism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum condition
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Criminal justice system
  • Forensic
  • Offending behaviour

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