Asperger’s Syndrome in Females: Prevalence Rates and Clinical Characteristics

Ms Aleisha Atkin (). Asperger’s Syndrome in Females: Prevalence Rates and Clinical Characteristics Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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s4051987_pd_totalthesis.pdf s4051987_pd_totalthesis application/pdf 2.04MB 16
Author Ms Aleisha Atkin
Thesis Title Asperger’s Syndrome in Females: Prevalence Rates and Clinical Characteristics
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Kate Sofronoff
Total pages 230
Total colour pages 2
Total black and white pages 228
Abstract/Summary Asperger's syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that persists throughout the lifespan. The reported prevalence of the syndrome has varied, and is not yet well established for individuals above 16 years of age. Research on gender differences is limited, and in particular, little is known about female phenomenology. The current thesis contained two parts. The first study gathered a clinical sample of 2483 individuals with autistic spectrum conditions aged up to 75 years of age to calculate epidemiology. The prevalence per 1000 was 5.16 for Asperger's syndrome, with a male to female ratio of 3.48:1. Mean age of diagnosis was 14.32 years. The most frequent co-morbid diagnosis was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), followed by anxiety and mood disorders. Females displayed a higher rate of co-morbid internalising disorders, and males a higher rate of ADHD and Tourette's syndrome. The second part of the study examined the female phenomenology of Asperger’s syndrome from interviews with four adolescents and one adult female. Results indicated a number of themes that were unique and similar to male presentation. Unique themes were a positive school experience, enjoyment of creative school subjects, non-eccentric and gender specific interests, and fantasy and imaginary play. The strengths and limitations of the study were discussed, as were the future implications for research and clinical practice. Results emphasised the need for further all-age inclusive, and gender specific research to be undertaken, to obtain more accurate epidemiology, which will guide the refining of diagnostic methods and treatment of Asperger's syndrome.
Additional Notes colour pages - pp133-134 landscape - page 77

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Created: Thu, 19 Aug 2010, 09:43:43 EST by Ms Aleisha Atkin on behalf of The University of Queensland Library