High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adulthood: Investigating Factors that Influence Psychosocial Outcomes
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High functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by deficits in social interaction, communication difficulties, sensory impairments and atypical behaviour. Despite increasing prevalence rates and a high comorbidity with both physical and psychiatric disorders, very little is understood regarding the psychosocial outcomes for these adults. As such, it is broadly hypothesised that self-perceptions, emotion regulation and coping styles would impact psychosocial wellbeing. Divided into three studies, this research paper aims to: 1) Investigate the relationship between HFASD symptom severity and psychosocial functioning (i.e., social and mental health functioning) of adults individuals with HFASD; 2) Elucidate the associations between HFASD symptomatology, neuropsychological functioning, health-related cognitions, emotion regulation, coping strategies and psychosocial outcomes; and 3) Develop and test an explanatory model of psychosocial functioning for adults with HFASD. Such research would help to provide a clearer understanding of HFASD symptomatology in adulthood and clarify the role of self-perceptions, emotion regulation and coping strategies on health and wellbeing. Moreover, this research could help facilitate more effective psychological interventions.
Australian Clinical Psychologist
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Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)