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The Association Between Autistic Traits and Mental Well-Being

Stimpson, NJ; Hull, L; Mandy, W; (2020) The Association Between Autistic Traits and Mental Well-Being. Journal of Happiness Studies 10.1007/s10902-020-00229-5. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

It is now accepted that sub-clinical autistic traits are continuously distributed in the general population. It appears that there has been no prior research on the relationship between autistic traits and mental well-being. We explored the nature of such a relationship using multiple regression models. 227 non-clinical adults aged 18–50 years completed an online self-report questionnaire with measures including the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale and the Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAPQ). Of the BAPQ subscales, aloofness (social anhedonia) but not rigidity or pragmatic language problems was associated with decreased mental well-being when controlling for extraversion, neuroticism, depression, and self-reported physical health. This association was partially mediated by crisis support (the number of people a respondent felt they could turn to for help in the event of a serious personal crisis). The results suggest that aloofness is a significant negative predictor of mental well-being, and that autistic traits might not be best represented as a single unitary factor in the context of outcomes related to mental well-being. Implications pertaining to the importance of social support and the possible contributing role of low self-perceived social competence to aloofness are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: The Association Between Autistic Traits and Mental Well-Being
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10902-020-00229-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-020-00229-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092673
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