Eating Behaviors of Autistic Women

Currently Recruiting Participants

Prior research has illustrated that the phenotype of autistic men and women may be qualitatively distinct in domains of both social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests, including sensory hyper- and hypo-reactivity (McGillivray & Evert, 2018; Rynkiewicz & Łucka, 2018). Elevated sensory symptoms experienced by women on the spectrum likely impacts their food selectivity, and informs specific food aversions. Greater knowledge of the relationship between sensory sensitivity and food preferences is critical to our awareness of the female autism phenotype and the development and modification of treatment for disordered eating in autism. 

Therefore, this study aims to (1) characterize the eating behaviors of autistic women (2) describe the relationship between food and sensory sensitivity of autistic women and (3) determine how eating behaviors are used to manage autism symptoms, including sensory sensitivity of autistic women. 

Individuals are eligible for study participation if they self-identify as autistic, were assigned a sex of female at birth, are age 18 or older, have no history of intellectual disability, and are not under a legal conservatorship or guardianship. Study participation involves a 30 minute survey and a 1.5 hour interview conducted via text chat, phone, or video call.