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Evidence of raised levels of autistic traits in a homeless population.

Churchard, AJ; (2017) Evidence of raised levels of autistic traits in a homeless population. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the relationship between autism spectrum condition (ASC) and homelessness. Part 1 is a systematic review of whether and how ASC overlaps with the personality disorders (PDs) schizoid PD and schizotypal PD. There was little evidence for the nature of the overlap between schizoid PD and ASC, but some studies did suggest that having ASC may be a risk factor for the development of this PD. There was more evidence for the relationship between schizotypal PD and ASC, with studies showing that overlap was minimal, although differentiating the conditions could be challenging. The findings informed decision making in the empirical study reported in part 2 of the thesis. Part 2 is a study into whether rates of ASC were raised in a homeless population. As there was no previous peer-reviewed research in this area the study aimed to begin to develop an evidence base. It did this by identifying what proportion of the homeless population studied presented with the full range of traits associated with ASC, rather than by seeking to make confirmed diagnoses. It found that a relatively high proportion did show strong evidence of ASC traits, which suggests that rates of this condition may be raised in this population and that further investigation is required. This was part of a joint study (Ryder, 2017) with Morag Ryder, trainee clinical psychologist also at University College London (UCL). Part 3 is a critical appraisal of the systematic review and empirical study. It discusses the dilemmas inherent in carrying out research into homelessness, where data collection is difficult and there are many risks to validity, and argues that despite this it was important to carry out the empirical study. It also details measures taken to increase the impact of the research and reflections on how this was carried out.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Evidence of raised levels of autistic traits in a homeless population.
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Autism, Homelessness
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1575527
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