Shining a Light on a Hidden Population: Social Functioning and Mental Health in Women Reporting Autistic Traits But Lacking Diagnosis

Belcher, Hannah L., Morein-Zamir, Sharon, Stagg, Steven D. and Ford, Ruth M. (2022) Shining a Light on a Hidden Population: Social Functioning and Mental Health in Women Reporting Autistic Traits But Lacking Diagnosis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. ISSN 1573-3432

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05583-2

Abstract

Female Phenotype Theory (FPT) suggests that autistic women often present with less obvious social impairments than autistic men. We examined the possibility of an exaggerated female phenotype among undiagnosed but probably autistic women. In two nationwide online surveys, we compared self-reported social functioning and mental health between diagnosed autistic women and women without diagnosis who scored ≥ 32 on the Autism Quotient. Compared to diagnosed autistic women, probably autistic women had higher empathy and general social functioning, and were more likely to have received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Autistic women had typically received more mental health diagnoses prior to their ASC diagnosis than autistic men. These findings shed light on the history of misdiagnosis experienced by many autistic women.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Autism spectrum conditions, Female phenotype of autism, Late diagnosis, Autism masking, Psychiatric comorbidity, Misdiagnosis
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 24 May 2022 08:34
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 16:17
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707631

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