University of Hertfordshire

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Social Anxiety and Response to Touch: a preliminary exploration of broader autism phenotype in females

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalSAGE Open
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2015


Subclinical autism-related traits have been shown in the general population to be independently related to both social anxiety and sensory sensitivity. The present study examined the relationship between autistic traits as measured by the Autism Quotient (AQ) and its relationship to social anxiety and tactile sensation abnormalities. One hundred and seventy-three female university students completed the AQ, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), and the touch subscale of the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile. Results revealed that the relationship between social anxiety and tactile sensation abnormalities to be fully mediated by the level of autistic traits. Of the two subscales forming the LSAS (anxiety and avoidance), the avoidance score related more strongly to tactile sensation abnormalities and was again found to be moderated by the AQ


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