The Relationship between Stress and Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Anyone 18 yrs of age or older
- Adults with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Friends, family members, carers and health professionals (You do not need to have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to participate in this study)
Brief description of project (background, aims and methodology)
This research aims to focus on Stress and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Briefly, using an online questionnaires and face-to-face interview, this study aims to examine the nature and lived experience of the stressors and stress response experienced by individuals with high functioning (HF) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the relationship between stress and coping (including social support utilization) in these individuals.
Much attention has focused on the effects of stress on the general population. However, there appears to be a lack of research, especially in adults, examining the lived-experience of people with HFA, especially their perceptions of stress (as opposed to other’s observations of their stereotypic behaviour). Instead, the literature has focused principally on the stress experienced by families and staff working or caring for this population. Although there is a small amount of literature examining the stress-induced behavioural effects as seen in children with ASD, this has not been examined in adults with HFA.
Specifically, it is not clear which aspects of the environment are most stressful to people with HFA (e.g. social interaction), and which stressor characteristics (e.g. chronicity, severity etc) are most important in this regard. Nor is it clear how this population tends to cope with life-stressors relative to normally functioning people, especially their use of social support-type coping strategies. Thus, there is a need to systematically probe these aspects of stressful experiences in people with ASD and their responses to them.
Benefits to participants in participating in this project (e.g. will assessments conducted provide useful information on participants needs, strengths or challenges?)
It is envisaged that the results may have benefits for participants. Participants may have the opportunity to learn more about ASD and stress and be an integral part in potentially furthering the literature in this field. In addition to this, participants may feel a sense of satisfaction of helping others by contributing to medical knowledge, or helping to identify possible new management strategies.
Researcher can be contacted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org if participants have any questions or require further information.