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Autistic Teenage Girls’ Lived Experiences of Masking

Jordan, Diana and UNSPECIFIED (2022) Autistic Teenage Girls’ Lived Experiences of Masking. Other thesis, University of Essex & Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.

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Abstract

This research sought to learn about the lived experiences of autistic teenage girls who mask in social interactions and in their daily lives. The aim of the research was to increase understanding of the perspectives and experiences of autistic girls. It is hoped this will help bring additional awareness of the experiences and perspectives of autistic girls and inform Educational Psychologists who are involved in supporting autistic girls in the diagnostic process, in school environments, in interventions, and through therapeutic support. Two research questions were identified during the Literature Review, namely, “What are the experiences of autistic teenage girls who mask?” and “What sense do autistic teenage girls make of their masking?”. The use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was selected to as an approach in response to these questions. Semi-structured interviews were completed with four autistic teenage girls who reported, through a screening questionnaire, that they use masking extensively. All participants were teenage girls who are in 5th or 6th year of second level school in Ireland. Participant and parental consent was obtained for all participants. The use of visual supports was offered but not selected by participants. Following analysis of the interviews, four overarching themes were identified, namely, ‘The Work of Masking’, ‘The Aftermath of Masking’, ‘Masking as Essential’, and ‘Moving Away from Masking’. Nine superordinate themes were identified from the subordinate themes of each participant; these themes addressed the preparation required for masking, how girls developed and employed strategies, the experience of masking, the recovery and review processes, reasons girls mask, situations where masking was considered essential, friendships, and participants’ plans to move away from using masking. The findings were discussed within the context of current research. Conclusions and suggestions for future research are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Diana Jordan
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 09:55
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 09:55
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/33040

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