Subclinical patterns characteristic of the autism spectrum in broader populations, labelled as the broader autism phenotype (BAP), have been assessed in non-clinical populations. These traits are associated with having fewer friendships, cognitive inflexibility, and rigid personalities or restricted interests. Social adjustment in college individuals may be magnified for international students, who often experience significant mental health challenges as a result of stress from cultural transition, termed acculturative stress. Key components of the broader autism phenotype — social interaction and communication — are inherently cultural processes. This study investigated the relationship between the BAP, acculturative stress, and depressive symptoms, predicting that higher levels of the BAP would predict greater negative mental health outcomes in international students of South Asian and East Asian descent (N = 240). Zero-order correlations indicated significant relationships among English language fluency, ethnicity, BAP, acculturative stress, and depressive symptoms. A MANOVA indicated that East Asian students reported significantly greater levels of the BAP, acculturative stress, and depressive symptoms than South Asians. Multiple hierarchical regressions revealed that greater levels of the BAP were significantly associated with higher acculturative stress and depressive symptoms, after accounting for English language fluency and ethnicity, which were significant correlates of the variables. Implications for future research on better assessment of the BAP structure and the importance of cultural socialization are discussed.
|Commitee:||Samuel, Douglas, Schwichtenberg, Amy J.|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Asian Studies, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Broader autism phenotype, International students, Social adjustment|
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