Exploring social camouflaging in adolescents with and without Autism
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Examining sex differences in individuals on the autism spectrum has been a major focus of recent research in the field. Of particular interest is the concept of camouflaging, through which individuals work to mask their autistic traits. Previous research has suggested that camouflaging may negatively impact mental health and that autistic females may be more likely to camouflage than autistic males. However, research in this area is limited to autistic adults and has not typically included neurotypical comparison groups. A better understanding of camouflaging in younger individuals, and how camouflaging may be similar and different among autistic and neurotypical individuals, is needed. The purpose of this study was to compare levels of camouflaging, motivations for and consequences of camouflaging, levels of internalizing symptoms, and correlations between camouflaging and internalizing symptoms in neurotypical and autistic adolescents. The results of this study indicated that (1) adolescent females are more likely to camouflage than males when not accounting for age, (2) there may be qualitative differences in the camouflaging of autistic and neurotypical males and females, and (3) camouflaging is significantly correlated with internalizing symptoms, though these correlations may be different for autistic and neurotypical adolescents.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri