A comparison of the content and nature of worries of young people with and without autism spectrum disorder as they transition out of school

Waldman, Jack (2019) A comparison of the content and nature of worries of young people with and without autism spectrum disorder as they transition out of school. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3368631


Background: Transition from secondary school is an essential time in development. For adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) it can be particularly challenging, with studies highlighting low employment rates, reduced participation in further education, and higher levels of isolation. Previous research has shown that worries held by adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID) differ from their non-ID peers. However, the worries of adolescents with autism are under-researched. This project aimed to explore the content and impact of worries of young people with autism at the stage of transition from school.

Methods: Twenty-two participants with ASD and twenty-two participants without ASD, aged 16 to 18, were recruited from mainstream schools in the Scottish Highlands. Participants completed a ‘Worry Interview’; a semi-structured interview modified from a previous study investigating worries in young people with IDs. The participants’ levels of rumination and distress about their most salient worries were measured. An anxiety scale was also completed.

Results: Content analysis highlighted differences between the two groups’ worries. Participants with ASD were more concerned about change and friendship, whereas those without ASD had more salient worries about subjects like work and money. The ASD group were significantly more distressed by their worries, and were also significantly more anxious than the control group.

Conclusions: Key differences in the nature of worries between the two groups were highlighted. Consideration should be given to the specific concerns of pupils as they approach leaving school. This could ease the transition process by reducing anxiety and distress.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Worry, autism, anxiety, rumination, distress, transition, school.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Jahoda, Professor Andrew
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr Jack Waldman
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-74415
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2019 15:30
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2022 07:33
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.74415
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74415

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