Mental health on screen: A DSM-5 dissection of portrayals of autism spectrum disorders in film and TV

Anders Nordahl-Hansen, Magnus Tøndevold, Sue Fletcher-Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Portrayals of characters with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in films and TV series are subject to intense debate over whether such representations are accurate. Inaccurate portrayals are a concern as they may lead to increased stereotypes toward the condition. We investigate whether portrayals of characters with autism spectrum disorder in film and TV-series align with DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Our data show that characters present a full range of characteristics described in the DSM-5. The meaning of this finding is discussed in relation to potential educational value of on screen portrayals and the notion of authenticity in representing the autistic experience.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online date23 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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