About Stirling Autism Research (STAR):

The Stirling Autism Research (STAR) team currently consists of a group of autistic and non-autistic autism researchers based at the University of Stirling, Scotland. We aim to do ethical, rigorous and inclusive autism research, that will ultimately make a meaningful difference in autistic people’s lives. We are passionate about autism research that makes a meaningful difference, and we have a particular focus on wellbeing. We believe that autism research can and should play a positive role in autistic people’s lives, and we acknowledge our responsibility as researchers in the narratives surrounding autism and autistic people. Our research includes topics such as:
  • mental health, wellbeing and quality of life
  • community connectedness and autistic identity
  • autism acceptance, stigma and minority stress
  • camouflaging/masking
  • ageing
  • future thinking (thinking about the future), prospective memory (remembering to remember) and metacognition (thinking about thinking)
  • executive function (e.g. planning, decision making, behaviour regulation)
Our STAR values underpin our research and ethos, and are:  Humility  We learn from each other and the wider autistic community, accepting that we might sometimes get things wrong, or have done so in the past, but we are always prepared to develop, listen, and respect. Compassion  We promote positive wellbeing both within our team and through the research we do. Inclusion  We are welcoming and are inclusive of all intersections of identity. We also work together to achieve our aims and create an environment where everyone’s contributions are valued. You can find out more News about our current and past projects. If you are interested in taking part in our research, please email us (autismresearch@stir.ac.uk) or use the contact form.
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Survey season!

Find out and take part in some of the research being done by our Autism Research MSc students.

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STAR Statement on a recently funded project at Stirling.

A statement from STAR on a newly funded project at the University of Stirling

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STARTS Network launches!

Striving to Transform Autism Research Together - Scotland Network launches!

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Spring 2022 Newsletter

Read the latest STAR newsletter!

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The first STAR newsletter!

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New video series about our research!

Check out our new 5 minute video series all about our latest research!

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Reflections on a STAR Placement

One of our recent MSc placement students, Lauren, reflects on her experiences with STAR.

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Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship awarded to Dr Monique Botha

We are delighted to announce that Dr Monique Botha has been awarded an Early Career Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust.

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INSAR poster: Contextual References as a Mechanism to Support Time-Based Prospective Memory in Autistic Adults

Access Dr Roestorf and Dr Grainger's research poster here.

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INSAR panel: Global Insights on Understanding and Reducing Autism Stigma

Read about the research panel organised by Dr Cage & Dr Botha.

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INSAR poster: A Systematic Review of Healthcare Professionals’ Knowledge, Self-Efficacy and Attitudes Towards Working with Autistic People

Access Dr Cage's research poster here.

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INSAR poster: Longitudinal Investigation of the Impact of Minority Stress and Autistic Community Connectedness on Mental Health in the Autistic Community

Access Dr Botha's research poster here.

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INSAR poster: Seeing in the Mind’s Eye. A Study of Aphantasia in Relation to Episodic Memory and Future Thinking in Autistic Adults

Access Dr Roestorf & Dr Grainger's research poster here.

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INSAR poster: Identity After an Autism Diagnosis: Gender, Self-Esteem and Wellbeing

Access Dr Cage's research poster here.

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INSAR poster: Autistic Community Connectedness as a Moderator of the Effect of Minority Stress on Mental Health in the Autistic Population

Access Dr Botha's research poster here.

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Stirling Autism Research (STAR) at the International Society for Autism Research general annual meeting (INSAR).

Our thoughts on the International Society for Autism Research conference 2021.

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Welcome to Marisa!

New PhD student Marisa McKinlay joins the STAR team.

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Welcome to Dr Botha plus new paper published

Dr Botha joins the STAR team and has a new paper published!

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New open-access position paper on Social Prescribing for Autistic people

In this open letter, we review existing literature on the efficacy of social prescribing in the general population and outline factors that should be considered when offering this to autistic people.

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New open-access research paper on Self-guided Mindfulness to alleviate anxiety in autistic adults

Our study explored the use of online mindfulness-based and cognitive behaviour therapy tools to alleviate anxiety in autistic adults. The study showed that online tools such as these can significantly reduce anxiety, with lasting effects over 3 and 6 months.

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Corden, K., Brewer, R., & Cage, E. (2021)

A systematic review of healthcare professionals’ knowledge, self-efficacy and attitudes towards working with autistic people

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Perry, E., Mandy, W., Hull, L. & Cage, E. (2021)

Understanding camouflaging as a response to autism-related stigma: A Social Identity Theory approach

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Cage, E. & Troxell-Whitman (2020)

Brief report: Understanding the relationships between autistic identity, disclosure and camouflaging

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Craig, K. & Grainger, C. (2020)

Metacognition in Autism. In F. R. Volkmar (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. New York: Springer.

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Cage, E. & Howes, J. (2020)

Dropping out and moving on: A qualitative study of autistic people’s experiences of university

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Cage, E., De Andres, M. & Mahoney. P. (2020).

Understanding the factors that affect university completion for autistic people. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 72, 101519.

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Roestorf, A. & Grainger, C. (2020)

Prospective Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder. In: Volkmar F. (eds) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer, New York, NY

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Cage, E. (2020)

Autism Acceptance and Mental Health. In: Volkmar F (ed.) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. New York: Springer p. 6.

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Nicholson, T. M., Williams, D. M., Grainger, C., Christensen, J. F., Calvo-Merino, B., & Gaigg, S. B. (2018)

Interoceptive impairments do not lie at the heart of autism or alexithymia

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