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Parental Experiences of Self-Harm in Young People with Autism: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

Vandewalle, Louise (2020) Parental Experiences of Self-Harm in Young People with Autism: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Paper 1 is a systematic literature review of 15 published studies which explore the associated factors between self-injurious behaviour (SIB) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Findings indicated that SIB is associated with lower adaptive ability, communicative ability, IQ and increased impulsivity/ over-activity. There are mixed findings suggesting a possible link between SIB and severity of autism symptomology. These findings call for a multidisciplinary approach to provide robust assessment. Current research is limited by reliance on secondary data and poor transparency in methodology.

Paper 2 is an empirical study which used an interpretive phenomenological analysis to explore how parents understand and experience adolescent self-harm in the context of their child having ASD. Findings suggest that the functions of self-harm are similar to those conceptualised in non-ASD literature, but that core traits associated with ASD may underpin the triggers and maintenance of self-harm. Self-harm impacts parental wellbeing and quality of life, although parents habituate to self-harm over time. Parents take practical approaches to support their child and value positive aspects of life.

Paper 3 is an executive summary written as an accessible account of the research for the participants who took part in this research, although it can be disseminated to the general public as well as clinicians in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The rationale, method, findings, implications and limitations of the empirical research are summarised.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 15:40
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2020 15:40
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6606

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