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Autistic Camouflaging: Group Differences and Impacts on Well-Being and Social Functioning

What's the study about?

The purpose of this study is to explore further understanding of ‘camouflaging’, an autistic masking behavior aimed to cover up or hide autistic traits in social interactions. Specifically, this study is interested in potential group differences among autistic individuals and their camouflaging behaviors based on: (a) current age, (b) age of diagnosis, (c) gender identity, (d) race/ethnicity, and/or (e) level of self-reported autism symptoms. The impact of camouflaging on autistic individuals’ social relationships and well-being will also be examined.

Who can participate?

To be eligible for participation, you must be 18 or older and have a diagnosis of autism (self-diagnoses are included). You also must be able to read English and live in the US.

What will participants be doing?

If you decide to participate, you will be asked to complete a 20 minute survey online. The survey will cover demographic questions, experiences with social interactions and relationships, and symptoms of autism, sadness, anxiety, and stress. You may withdraw from the study at any time.

Why is this important?

The results of this study will help increase knowledge and understanding about camouflaging and its short-term and long-term implications for autistic individuals. Additionally, increased knowledge about the lived experiences of autistic populations will help professionals from various fields better understand and support autistic individuals. This study explores whether camouflaging positively or negatively impacts autistic communities, therefore indicating whether autistic people should be taught or encouraged to mask their autistic traits. This study’s findings also have the potential to provide recommendations for future research and inclusive intervention supports for autistic communities.

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