No man is an island: Experiences of loneliness, alexithymia and abnormal sensory processing in males with sub-threshold autism traits

O'Connor, Kate (2011). No man is an island: Experiences of loneliness, alexithymia and abnormal sensory processing in males with sub-threshold autism traits Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author O'Connor, Kate
Thesis Title No man is an island: Experiences of loneliness, alexithymia and abnormal sensory processing in males with sub-threshold autism traits
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Kate Sofronoff
Total pages 63
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterised by deficits in communication and social interaction. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders often experience poor social and emotional outcomes in adulthood. The present study aimed to examine sub-threshold autism traits in a non-clinical sample to determine whether these traits can also influence social outcomes such as loneliness. Alexithymia and abnormal sensory processing were also examined in relation to sub-threshold autism traits, as both have been linked to autism and can further contribute to poor social outcomes. Participants were a community sample of 214 males who completed an online survey. Sub-threshold autism traits were found to predict greater social loneliness (although this relationship was partially mediated by sensory sensitivity) and greater family loneliness (although this relationship was fully mediated by alexithymia). Sub-threshold autism traits also predicted higher levels of alexithymia, sensory sensitivity, sensory avoidance and low registration, and lower levels of sensation seeking behaviours. No links were found between sub-threshold autism traits and relationship variables or romantic loneliness. A discriminant analysis was also conducted as a subsidiary test to determine whether a profile of individuals with sub-threshold autism traits could be formed.
Keyword Austism spectrum disorders
Alexithymia
Abnormal sensory processing

 
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Created: Fri, 22 Jun 2012, 15:12:01 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology