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Title: Using personal construct psychology to explore relationships for adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder
Author: Murphy, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 8959
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2014
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Individuals with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) stand an increased risk of experiencing mental health problems during adolescence. The present study aimed to develop a better understanding of interpersonal relationships in the lives of adolescents with high functioning ASD. Eight adolescents with a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or ASD without an identified intellectual disability engaged in a structured interview based on a personal construct psychology exercise exploring constructs about interpersonal relationships. Interviews were transcribed and subjected to a thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: 1) Relationships as a source of support, 2) Perceptions of similarity and difference, 3) Valued qualities in self and others and 4) The development of and maintenance of relationships. Whilst this exploratory study highlighted some commonality in terms of perceptions of family support and friendships as protective and desirable, the participant group differed in their ability to establish and maintain peer relationships. However, peers were seen by participants as being very important in the development of social skills - a finding which has implications for the delivery of social skills training and other supportive interventions. The personal construct exercise provided an accessible and useful platform for the exploration of the social worlds of adolescents with ASD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0724 Adolescence ; BF0076.5 Psychology research ; HM1041 Social perception. Social cognition ; RJ0506.A9 Autism