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Autism and Human-Animal Interaction: A Mixed Method Approach to Emotion Regulation

August 2022 - December 2022

The study is interested in the various ways people on the spectrum use different strategies (e.g., seeking advice, petting their animal, mindfulness, etc.) to regulate. The study examines how masking and camouflaging autistic traits may impact emotion regulation. The study explores how relationships to pets may be used as emotion regulation.

What are the goals of the study?

We want to understand the adult autistic community’s experience of emotion regulation. Specifically, we want to understand wow, what, and in which ways do autistic adults use emotion regulation; how, what, and in which ways do animals provide emotion regulation; and how and in what ways masking influences different emotion regulation strategies. We hope to gain a better, more thorough understanding of the different strategies used in emotion regulation.

What will happen during the visit or online?

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to sign informed consent if you elect to participate, complete an approximately 30-minute survey in a Qualtrics System with close-ended questions and 3 open-ended response questions, and if you choose to, enter drawing for 1 of 5 $25 Amazon Gift cards.

How will this help families?

The study was developed as a mixed method study, meaning the researcher collects both quantitative (closed-ended) and qualitative (open-ended) data to analyze. We want to understand the adult autistic community’s experience of emotion regulation. We hope to center the experiences of the autism community and gain a better more thorough understanding of the different strategies used in emotion regulation, including things like mindfulness, cognitive, interpersonal, and pets as strategies. We hope that this information can provide a more strength-based approach to understanding emotion regulation for the autism community, and also provide information for the mental health community to use when working with an autistic client who may have co-occurring mental health conditions.

Eligibility Criteria

Any autistic adult who is 18+ and can provide legal consent.

View the study flyer here.

Contact Information

Harrison Chapman at harrison.chapman25@uga.edu

 

Research Study Website

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