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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

This study employs a grounded theory approach to examine how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) individuals make sense of their identity through online communities. Findings indicate that the autism diagnosis and perceptions of the diagnosis create identity threats which ASD individuals cope with in constructing and managing their identity. The autism diagnosis establishes a prescribed identity (i.e., identity an individual or social group is told they have) while others’ perceptions of the diagnosis create a stereotype identity (i.e., identity an individual or social group is assumed to have). These threaten the identity motives of belongingness, distinctiveness, self-esteem, and self-control/regulation. In order to manage these threats, ASD individuals employ the coping strategies of acceptance, online social support, digital insulation, positive distinctiveness, disidentification, concealment, and fantasy. We explore the impacts of these threats and coping strategies on autism identity sensemaking and explicate the implications for practice and research.

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

What Does it Mean to be Autistic? Examining How Identity Threats and Coping Strategies Influence the ASD Identity through Analysis of Identity Talk in Online Communities

This study employs a grounded theory approach to examine how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) individuals make sense of their identity through online communities. Findings indicate that the autism diagnosis and perceptions of the diagnosis create identity threats which ASD individuals cope with in constructing and managing their identity. The autism diagnosis establishes a prescribed identity (i.e., identity an individual or social group is told they have) while others’ perceptions of the diagnosis create a stereotype identity (i.e., identity an individual or social group is assumed to have). These threaten the identity motives of belongingness, distinctiveness, self-esteem, and self-control/regulation. In order to manage these threats, ASD individuals employ the coping strategies of acceptance, online social support, digital insulation, positive distinctiveness, disidentification, concealment, and fantasy. We explore the impacts of these threats and coping strategies on autism identity sensemaking and explicate the implications for practice and research.