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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/347

Title: Understanding Childhood Adversity and Resilience: Perspectives of Autistic Adults
Authors: Heselton, Gabrielle A.
Supervisor(s): Rempel, Gwen (Faculty of Health Disciplines) Nicholas, David (University of Calgary)
Examining Committee: Chang, Jeff (Faculty of Health Disciplines)
Brown, Heather (University of Alberta)
Degree: Master of Counselling
Department: Faculty of Health Disciplines
Keywords: autism
childhood adversity
mental health
interpretative phenomenological analysis
participatory methods
ethical autism research
Issue Date: 27-Apr-2021
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis project was to better understand the effects of childhood adversity on autistic individuals and the role of resilience in mitigating those effects. A review of the literature indicated that, despite vast research on these phenomena in the general population, little is known about their influence on the well-being of individuals on the autism spectrum. To understand these phenomena better, I employed interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), integrating participatory methods to ensure the research question, design, and analysis were congruent with the wishes and perspectives of the autistic community. Four autistic adults volunteered for this study and, through semi-structured interviews, described their experiences of adversity and resilience in childhood and adolescence. Adversity had long-term negative effects on the well-being of participants, while resilience meant an improvement in well-being in young adulthood. Autism/autistic characteristics interacted with both adversity and resilience to contribute to the well-being of participants.
Graduation Date: 2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/347
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