ERIC Number: EJ1047995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
"I'm Really Glad This Is Developmental": Autism and Social Comparisons--An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Huws, Jaci C.; Jones, Robert S. P.
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v19 n1 p84-90 Jan 2015
The present qualitative study comprised interviews with nine young people with autism (aged 16-21 years) about their perceptions of autism. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, three underlying themes were illuminated, and all these formed the superordinate theme Making Comparisons: (a) Changes over time: "I'm really glad this is developmental"; (b) Degrees of autism: "They've got it really bad"; and (c) Degrees of ability: "I'm not really disabled-disabled." Such comparisons were not explicitly sought at the outset of the study, and instead emerged from their conceptualisations of the autism concept. When comparing how they perceived themselves now, and how they perceived themselves in the past, the young people viewed themselves more positively in the present. In addition, when making comparisons with other people with autism, they tended to locate themselves as being in a better position than others were. The perspective of being in a more fortunate position because of heightened abilities also emerged from the comparisons made with people who did not have autism. Furthermore, similar comparisons were made when autism was compared to disability, with autism being evaluated as being more favourable than what was termed "proper" disability. The results of this study are discussed in relation to the existent social comparison literature.
Descriptors: Phenomenology, Qualitative Research, Autism, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Disabilities, Severity (of Disability), Comparative Analysis, Individual Differences, Late Adolescents, Ability, College Students, Quality of Life, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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