Self-Perception in Youth With HFA/AS

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Self-Perception in Youth With HFA/AS

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Title: Self-Perception in Youth With HFA/AS
Author: Moats, Gabriela Echavarria
Advisor: Gillham, Jane; Renninger, K. Ann
Department: Swarthmore College. Dept. of Educational Studies
Department: Swarthmore College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The literature on youth with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA) suggests that they have limitations in how they see themselves, but that many are aware of how they are different from the norm. This has been found to contribute to the development of low self-esteem and high rates of depression and anxiety that are so prevalent in this population. Little research has been dedicated to examining ways in which youth with HFA and AS can be encouraged to feel more positively about themselves. Exposure to peers with similar diagnoses has been found to be helpful in other special populations, but has not been thoroughly studied in youth with HFA/AS. The present study measured youth’s perceptions of themselves before attending a summer camp exclusively for youth with social difficulties, immediately after attending the camp, and several months later. Mirroring the findings of previous studies, these campers displayed awareness of their social difficulties, and were able to reflect on what makes them feel proud. This contrasts the belief that youth in this population are unable to engage in self-reflection. Results from standardized measures did not reveal changes in youth’s perceptions of themselves after being at camp. However participants’ responses to open-ended questions suggested that campers experienced profound changes in their perceptions of their social competence, self-confidence, selfreliance, and sense of belonging. These findings have implications on effective interventions for this population, as well as on accurate methods of assessment of change in this group.
Terms of Use: Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. This work has not been published and access is restricted to members of the Swarthmore College community. It may only be used for non-commercial, research and educational purposes at Swarthmore College. All other uses are restricted.
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/8104

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Moats, Gabriela Echavarria. "Self-Perception in Youth With HFA/AS". 2012. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/8104.

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