Mental health difficulties are highly prevalent in individuals on the autism spectrum. The current study examined how experiences and perceptions of autism acceptance could impact on the mental health of autistic adults. 111 adults on the autism spectrum completed an online survey examining their experiences of autism acceptance, along with symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Regression analyses showed that autism acceptance from external sources and personal acceptance significantly predicted depression. Acceptance from others also significantly predicted stress but acceptance did not predict anxiety. Further analyses suggested that experiences of “camouflaging” could relate to higher rates of depression. The current study highlights the importance of considering how autism acceptance could contribute to mental health in autism.
Eilidh Cage, Jessica Di Monaco, Victoria Newell
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, February 2018, Volume 48, Issue 2