Home Forums Autism Research Life experiences and worries in AS online survey Re: Re: Life experiences and worries in AS online survey

Post count: 3

Summary of results: Life experiences and worries in Asperger’s syndromeThank you to everyone who took part in this study by completing an online survey. Here is a summary of the results of the study.Aims of the studyWorries and suspicious thoughts about other people (sometimes called paranoia) have been found to be relatively common in the general population and there is some evidence that these types of thoughts might be more common in people with AS. This study aimed to investigate relationships between emotional and social factors and worries about other people (paranoia) in people with AS.Participants106 people who self-identified as having Asperger’s syndrome (AS) completed the online survey. Over half of the participants (57.5%, 61 participants) stated that they had received a diagnosis of AS from a professional. The remaining 42.5% (45 participants) had not received a diagnosis from a professional but did self-identify as having AS. The sample was made up of 44.3% (47) males and 55.7% (59) females. The mean age of the sample was 35.0 years (SD = 12.9 years; range = 18 – 66 years). ResultsAnxiety was found to predict paranoia; specifically meta-worry (worries about worries) was a significant predictor of paranoia. Adverse childhood experiences (abuse and neglect) were also found to predict paranoia; specifically participants who had experienced more psychological abuse in childhood were more likely to have paranoid thoughts. No relationship was found between either anomalous sensory experiences or quality of current friendships and paranoia.Relatively high levels of adverse childhood experiences were reported by the adults who self-identified as having AS in this study.ImplicationsMany adults with AS do not need support from services and are capable of living satisfying, independent and full lives; however there is a need for high quality specialist services for those adults with AS who do experience co-morbid mental health problems. Cognitive behavioural interventions that target anxiety and metacognition (thoughts about thoughts) might be particularly relevant for treating paranoia in this population. Clinicians working in both child and adult services should be aware of the potentially increased risk of adverse childhood experiences in the AS population and the impact this might have on mental health in adulthood. Thank you again to those who completed the online survey. If you have any questions about this study please contact me at the address given below.Rosie MooreTrainee Clinical Psychologistr.moore@rhul.ac.ukDept. of Clinical Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, TW20 0EX