“I’m proud to be a little bit different”: The effects of autistic individuals’ perceptions of autism and autism social identity on their collective self-esteem

Rosalind Cooper, Kate Cooper, Ailsa Russell, Laura G. E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This study aimed to identify the attributes that autistic people perceive as positively and negatively impacting on their identity and wellbeing. In Study 1, we recruited 140 autistic participants for an online survey. Participants completed autism social identification and collective self-esteem measures and listed attributes they associated with autism. In Study 2, we conducted focus groups with 15 autistic people to explore how positively they perceived the attributes of autism. Participants then discussed the autism attributes in relation to their own experiences and identity. We found a positive relationship between the number of positive attributes participants associated with autism, and their collective self-esteem, to the extent that they identified with other autistic people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-714
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume51
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Autism community
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Autism strengths
  • Self-esteem
  • Social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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