Health and Wellbeing
PhD Researcher in Health and Wellbeing ESRC (+3)
Health and Social Sciences, UWE Bristol
Start date: October 2020
Research topic: Autism and anxiety: are key diagnostic ‘deficit criteria’ actually effective strategies for the self-management of anxiety in autistic adults?
I aim to explore whether key autism diagnostic criteria, often seen as deficit traits or behaviours, are actually effective strategies for reducing anxiety in autistic individuals. For instance, “persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction,” “restricted, repetitive patterns” and “insistence on sameness” may be necessary strategies in reducing levels of novel or challenging stimuli to be processed and so reduce anxiety.
This will be an exploratory sequential study within a participatory framework. The research methodology will be underpinned by the social theory of disability which considers that autistic disability results from societal barriers rather than from autistic neurology.
Research supervisors: Dr Issy Bray (UWE Bristol), Dr Felicity Sedgewick (Bristol), Dr Jo White (UWE Bristol), Dr Stuart McClean (UWE Bristol)