Prevalence of clinical autistic traits within a homeless population: barriers to accessing homeless services

Dr Niko Kargas, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of PsychologyDr Amanda Roberts, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Psychology

 

 

 

 

 

Recent research suggests a high prevalence rate of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) amongst the homeless population. Although, it is well-documented that autistic people experienced many barriers to accessing health services, little is known about their challenges in accessing homeless services. Thus, the present study aimed to measure prevalence of high levels of autistic traits, and to identify barriers that prevent autistic people accessing homeless services. Participants recruited from homeless services (n = 65) completed the Autism Quotient-10 (AQ-10) alongside a questionnaire regarding perceived accessibility of homeless services. Results revealed that 18.5% of participants scored Above the Clinical Threshold of the AQ-10 (ACT-AQ). Moreover, the ACT-AQ group reported that encountering big groups in shared accommodation represent a significant barrier to engaging with homeless services. Further research is needed to identify the full degree of ASC representation and the factors that might prevent autistic homeless people accessing homeless services, and thus overcoming homelessness.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Niko Kargas, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology and Autism Research Innovation Centre

Kathryn Harley, University of Lincoln, Autism Research Innovation Centre

Amanda Roberts, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology and Autism Research Innovation Centre

Stephen Sharman, University of Lincoln, Autism Research Innovation Centre