Exploring the Link between Autistic Traits, Social Functioning, Anxiety, and Academic Achievement among Emory University Students and Faculty Members Open Access

Nikolaou, Loizos (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/5712m716g?locale=en


The present study was based on the principles of the Extreme Male Brain Theory of Autism (EMBTA) and aimed to explore the possible link between autistic traits, social functioning, anxiety, and academic achievement among Emory University students and faculty members. Several empirically or theoretically selected socio-demographic and behavioral variables were co-examined to investigate different ways in which patterns traditionally associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were present in non-clinical individuals within the broader autism phenotype. Results suggest that, on average, males had significantly more autistic traits than females, as did participants in the field of "hard" sciences compared to those in other academic fields. Having both parents in a scientific occupation predicted higher autistic traits in offspring. Higher autistic traits were also associated with lower social functioning and higher anxiety levels among respondents. Findings can be utilized by the institution to better understand and accommodate the needs of students and faculty members, or even by the on-campus counseling and medical services to develop appropriate strategies and interventions.

Table of Contents

Abstract v

Introduction 1

Literature Review 3

Methodology 10

Results 16

Discussion 24

References 32

Appendices 37

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