The experience of isolation and loneliness in young adults with high-functioning autism Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Merkler, Elif Erim
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Abstract
  • This study investigated the experience of isolation and loneliness in young adults with high-functioning autism. Thirty-seven high functioning autistic adults and 82 typically developing college freshmen were recruited through agencies serving individuals with autism and a local university. Participants completed measures assessing the presence of social relationships and feelings about those relationships, as well as overall mental health functioning. Results of the present study suggest that adults with high functioning autism are more isolated than their peers and that isolation from social networks and dyadic relationships leads to distress in this population. Interestingly, there were no group differences in the experience of distress associated with isolation. In addition, though adults with high functioning autism reported greater mental health difficulties than their peers, these difficulties were not directly associated with the experience of isolation. Limitations and clinical implications of the current study and directions for future work are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Mesibov, Gary B.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Open access
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