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Bridging research and educational psychology practice on restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests in autism

Avramides, Katerina; (2021) Bridging research and educational psychology practice on restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests in autism. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Aim: Restricted and Repetitive Behaviours and Interests (RRBIs) are a diagnostic feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The literature on RRBIs interventions has been critiqued for focusing on symptom reduction instead of broader outcomes which are meaningful to autistic Children and Young People (CYP). Given the ecosystemic and CYP-centred framework within which most EPs practice, the extent to which EP practice and research can inform each other is unclear. The aim of this research was to bridge research and practice on RRBIs, using Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model as a framework for discussion. Method: Part 1: A systematic scoping review (SSR) of RRBI intervention design that examined how outcomes are defined, by whom, and whether interventions are effective in achieving broader outcomes. The SSR included 564 studies. Part 2: Focus groups with 7 EPs and 3 Trainee EPs to elicit their views on how they practice with regard to RRBIs. Findings: The SSR indicated that the reasons for intervention were not clearly reported, and the intended broader outcomes were not consistently measured. CYP views were rarely reported. Parent/caregiver and teacher views on RRBIs were largely summarised in short statements of negative impact. There were few reports of collaborative approaches to setting outcomes. A discussion of a subset of studies that defined and measured reasons for intervention suggested that changes in RRBIs sometimes, but not always, are associated with changes in broader outcomes. The EP focus groups emphasised understanding the meaning / function of behaviour and advocating against normalisation. EPs suggested that they avoid the RRBI term because it implies deficit and because of its limitations in understanding behaviour. Conclusion: Current intervention literature is limited in informing when and for what purpose intervention on RRBIs may be effective. Barriers to meaningful collaboration between research and practice are discussed. EPs can contribute to reframing RRBI research with a focus on meaningful outcomes for autistic CYP and their families.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: Bridging research and educational psychology practice on restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests in autism
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132761
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