Revisiting the Relationship between Cybercrime, Autistic Traits, and Autism

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Abstract

Reports of cybercrime being committed by people on the autism spectrum often imply that autism may be more prevalent among cybercriminals than the general population, although this remains unproven. In an online survey of 302 participants, we found that autistic individuals (n = 25) were more likely to report engagement in cybercrime than non-autistic individuals, but this relationship was not mediated by advanced digital skills or deficits in theory of mind. Furthermore, independent of autism diagnosis, autistic traits were not significantly associated with self-reported cyber-criminality. We propose that there may be additional factors moderating the relationship between autism, autistic traits, and cybercrime, such as specific autistic characteristics, understanding of cybercrime, and willingness to disclose criminal activity.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date27 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autistic traits
  • Cybercrime

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