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Title: Gender differences in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders
Author: Loomes, R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 9518
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis focuses on the gender differences in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Part 1 reports on a meta-analysis investigating the male-to-female prevalence of ASD in people aged 0-18 years. An overall odds ratio is provided as well as the calculated heterogeneity between studies which was significant. Further sub-analyses highlighted the importance of methodology and the impact this has on the male-to-female ratio as well as IQ. The implications of the large amount of variability that the 4:1 male-to-female ratio is masking are discussed. Part 2 investigates the hypothesised female phenotype of ASD. Firstly it describes the development and piloting of a coding frame, the Gendered Autism Behaviour Scale (GABS), designed specifically for coding videotape administrations of the Autism Diagnostic Schedule (ADOS). The GABS was then used to quantitatively measure some of the key features of the hypothesised female phenotype of ASD, comparing males and females with a diagnosis of ASD aged 9-15 years. Preliminary findings indicate that there are significant differences in how males and females with ASD present, especially in terms of the nature of their restricted and repetitive interest. Part 3 reflects on some of the conceptual and practical dilemmas that occurred whilst designing and conducting the research described in Part 2. The concept of content validity is discussed in relation to developing a novel measure for a construct that is still in the process of being defined. Practical challenges in recruitment are also explored.
Supervisor: Mandy, W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available