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J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 May;49(5):1899-1911. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-03878-x.

Understanding the Reasons, Contexts and Costs of Camouflaging for Autistic Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Hill, Egham, TW20 0EX, Surrey, UK. Eilidh.cage@rhul.ac.uk.
2
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Hill, Egham, TW20 0EX, Surrey, UK.

Abstract

Camouflaging entails 'masking' in or 'passing' social situations. Research suggests camouflaging behaviours are common in autistic people, and may negatively impact mental health. To enhance understanding of camouflaging, this study examined reasons, contexts and costs of camouflaging. 262 autistic people completed measures of camouflaging behaviours, camouflaging contexts (e.g. work vs. family), camouflaging reasons (e.g. to make friends) and mental health symptoms. Findings indicated a gender difference in reasons for camouflaging, with autistic women more likely to endorse "conventional" reasons (e.g. getting by in formal settings such as work). Both camouflaging highly across contexts and 'switching' between camouflaging in some contexts but not in others, related to poorer mental health. These findings have implications for understanding camouflaging in autistic adults.

KEYWORDS:

Autistic adults; Camouflaging; Gender differences; Mental health; Wellbeing

PMID:
30627892
PMCID:
PMC6483965
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-018-03878-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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