Looking behind the mask: social coping strategies of girls on the autistic spectrum

Tierney, S., Burns, J. and Kilbey, E. (2016) Looking behind the mask: social coping strategies of girls on the autistic spectrum. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 23. pp. 73-83. ISSN 1750-9467.

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The socio-communication deficits of individuals on the autistic spectrum are well documented. However, this has largely been based on the male population and less is known about how females with autism manage social relationships across the developmental period.

Ten adolescent female participants with a diagnosis of autism were interviewed and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis used to explore their experiences of managing their social relationships. The results showed that participants were motivated to develop and maintain friendships, but during adolescence this became increasingly difficult. Consequently, they developed explicit strategies to manage these relationships, including masking and imitation. The use of such strategies was both advantageous and disadvantageous, and such findings should be considered in developing gender sensitive assessment and developmentally appropriate support.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF075 Psychology. Practice
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0692 Psychology of sex. Sexual behaviour
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ0499 Mental disorders. Child psychiatry > RJ0506.A9 Autism
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Prof Jan Burns
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 14:02
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 02:30
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14496

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00