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Rebecca Roberts-Davis

DPhil Candidate

Current Project(s)

Anxiety problems have been raised as a research priority for the autistic community, due to high rates of co-occurrence and their impact on quality of life for children, adolescents and adults. Informed by contemporary models of anxiety conditions in autistic populations, I will explore candidate mechanisms underpinning anxiety in autism and whether these are related to autism a way that is unique. 

I aim to explore anxiety in autism in terms of mechanism, measurement and phenomenology. I would therefore seek to study whether a key anxiety-linked mechanism, intolerance of uncertainty, presents consistently across autistic and neurotypical populations; whether aspects of how we measure anxiety and autism may to some extent artificially inflate associations between the two conditions; and whether than are cognitive aspects to anxiety in autism that have been neglected in current conceptualisations by understanding lived experience. I will weave in a range of methodological approaches including experimental design, advanced statistical approaches, and qualitative methodology.