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Title: Autism spectrum conditions and anxiety in mainstream secondary schools : an investigation with pupils, parents and learning support assistants
Author: Wicks, Abigail Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 0338
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Despite the increasing prevalence and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and the increasing number of children and young people (CYP) with ASC in mainstream schools, there is little qualitative research exploring a common element of the condition, anxiety. This study adopts a qualitative research paradigm and attempts to develop understanding of and insight into the lives of CYP with ASC by giving a voice to these pupils, their parents/carers and members of staff who support them. Adapted, semi-structured interviews using a cognitive-behavioural framework were used to elicit participants’ views. The data were triangulated and analysed using thematic analysis to ensure detailed analysis of the topic. The themes highlighted a number of school scenarios that cause anxiety and distress for pupils, as well as the negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours associated with such situations. Psychological explanations for these findings were examined. Pupils found talking about their anxieties and using distraction techniques to be helpful anxiety-management strategies. For school to be ‘anxiety free’ participants alluded to a setting in which the CYP would be understood and accepted. The environment would be calm and predictable. Implications of the study, its relevance to the EP profession and further areas for research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools