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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Understanding camouflaging, stigma, and mental health for autistic people in Japan Running head: Autism and camouflaging, stigma, and mental health
Author(s): Tamura, Masaki
Cage, Eilidh
Perry, Ella
Hongo, Minako
Takahashi, Toru
Seto, Mikuko
Shimizu, Eiji
Oshima, Fumiyo
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Keywords: Autism
Social Identity Theory
Mental health
Date Deposited: 6-Feb-2024
Citation: Tamura M, Cage E, Perry E, Hongo M, Takahashi T, Seto M, Shimizu E & Oshima F (2024) Understanding camouflaging, stigma, and mental health for autistic people in Japan Running head: Autism and camouflaging, stigma, and mental health. <i>Autism in Adulthood</i>.
Abstract: Background: Camouflaging refers to behaviors in which autistic individuals mask their autistic characteristics and “pass” as non-autistic people. It is postulated that camouflaging is a response to stigma, and preliminary evidence supports this hypothesis. However, research on this topic outside of Western countries is limited. This study replicated and extended previous work in the West that examined the relationships between camouflaging, stigma, and mental health of autistic adults, with a Japanese sample. Methods: Two-hundred eighty-seven autistic people living in Japan (146 men, 120 women, 14 non-binary, 5 other gender identities, 2 preferred not to say; mean age = 37.5 years, standard deviation = 9.8 years) completed an online survey on camouflaging, perceived stigma, coping strategies for stigma, mental well-being, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and depression. We used hierarchical multiple regression analyses to investigate the relationships between camouflaging and stigma and coping strategies for stigma. Mediation analyses were also employed to examine whether camouflaging mediated the relationships between stigma and autistic people’s mental health. Results: Replicating previous work, we found that higher camouflaging was associated with higher perceived stigma. Both coping strategies of hiding/denying and valuing/embracing stigmatized characteristics were positively related to camouflaging. Camouflaging mediated the association of stigma with depression, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety (but not well-being). Conclusion: Our findings support the hypothesis that camouflaging is closely related to autism-related stigma and can influence the impact of stigma on mental health. More work around social outreach and addressing autism-related stigma would be beneficial to reduce the negative role of camouflaging.
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Autism in Adulthood by Mary Ann Liebert. The original publication will be available at:
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming
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