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Non-clinical autistic traits, perceived social support and perceived stress: a preliminary study in the general population

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posted on 2024-04-03, 14:17 authored by Oliver Lack, Laura JenkinsLaura Jenkins

Previous research suggests individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report higher levels of perceived stress compared to individuals without a diagnosis of ASD.  However, there is little research on the relationship between autistic traits and perceived stress, particularly within the general population/non-clinical samples. Research also suggests perceived social support may act as a buffer against perceived stress. However, the relationship between non-clinical/subthreshold autistic traits, perceived social support, and perceived stress has never been investigated. The current study aimed to assess if sub-threshold autistic traits and perceived social support predict perceived stress in the general population additionally if social support is potentially protective against perceived stress in a model alongside non-clinical autistic traits.  A total of 322 participants from 32 different countries completed an online survey of three questionnaires: Perceived Stress Scale; Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire; and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Data were analysed using multiple regression. Results indicated non-clinical autistic traits did predict perceived stress in the general population. However, not all traits acted as predictors, with only rigidity and pragmatic language difficulties predicting perceived stress. Additionally, alongside non-clinical autistic traits, only perceived social support from family negatively predicted perceived stress, indicating this may be the most important source of perceived social support alongside increasing non-clinical autistic traits to protect against perceived stress.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Psychreg Journal of Psychology

Volume

5

Issue

2

Pages

23 - 37

Publisher

Psychreg

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© Psychreg Journal of Psychology

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Psychreg under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2021-12-01

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

2515-138X

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Laura Jenkins. Deposit date: 27 March 2024

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