Welcome to the University of Southampton blog for the Doctorate in Educational Psychology, the purpose of which is to disseminate course-generated knowledge. Our trainees submit assignments demonstrating their ability to generate new knowledge and synthesise existing research, including essays, critiques of interventions and a thesis. Essays and critiques published here have all been graded as being at distinction level in at least one area.

“Where a distinction was awarded, the students had achieved excellent standards.” 
Dr Sandra Dunsmuir, External Examiner 2013-2015, UCL

 “The visiting team welcomed the work done to develop the research blog to enable
high quality trainee research to be disseminated to a wider audience.”
BPS Accreditation Team, May 2017

Recent Posts

A systematic review and meta‐analysis of sex/gender differences in social interaction and communication in autistic and nonautistic children and adolescents

Authors: Henry Wood-Downie, Bonnie Wong, Hanna Kovshoff, Samuele Cortese and Julie Hadwin
Published: 2020
Publication: Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Background: Evidence increasingly suggests that ASD manifests differently in females than males. Previous reviews investigating sex/gender differences in social interaction and social communication have focused at the level of broad constructs (e.g. comparing algorithm scores from pre‐existing diagnostic instruments) and have typically reported no significant differences between males and females. However, a number of individual studies have found sex/gender differences in narrow construct domains.
Method: We conducted a systematic review and random effects model meta‐analyses (in January 2019 and updated January 2020) that investigated sex/gender differences in narrow construct measures of social communication and interaction in autistic and nonautistic children and adolescents, and adults. Study quality was appraised using the Appraisal Tool for Cross‐Sectional Studies (AXIS, BMJ Open, 6, 2016, 1).
Results: Across 16 studies (including 2,730 participants), the analysis found that female (vs. male) individuals with ASD had significantly better social interaction and social communication skills (SMD = 0.39, p < .001), which was reflective of a similar sex/gender profile in nonautistic individuals (SMD = 0.35, p < .001). Nonautistic males had significantly better social interaction and communication than males with ASD (SMD = 0.77, p < .001). Nonautistic females also had significantly better social interaction and communication than females with ASD (SMD = 0.72, p <.001). Nonautistic males had better social interaction and communication than females with ASD, though this difference was not significant (SMD = 0.30, p = .07).
Conclusions: This systematic review and meta‐analysis highlighted important sex/gender differences in social interaction and communication for individuals with ASD, likely not captured by pre‐existing diagnostic instruments, which potentially contribute to the under recognition of autism in females, and may need to be reflected in the diagnostic process.

Wood-Downie, H., Wong, B., Kovshoff, H., Cortese, S. & Hadwin, J. A. (2020) Research Review: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of sex/gender differences in social interaction and communication in autistic and nonautistic children and adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.13337

Download (open access article)

  1. The Children’s Exploratory Drawings Leave a reply
  2. Pillars of Parenting: an academic critique. Leave a reply
  3. An exploration of the support schools can provide to students with non-suicidal self-injury behaviour. Leave a reply
  4. University of Southampton Psychology Post Graduate Research Conference – presentations Leave a reply
  5. An intervention to raise a sense of belonging and associated outcomes for secondary aged pupils with low socioeconomic status Leave a reply
  6. Looking ahead rather than behind: exploring the future perspectives and resilience of adolescents who have experience of parental imprisonment Leave a reply
  7. Understanding the school outcomes for, and experiences of, siblings of children with autism Leave a reply
  8. The impact of small motor activity on attention and learning in children Leave a reply
  9. An investigation into the associations between maths anxiety in secondary school pupils and teachers’ and parents’ implicit theories of intelligence and failure Leave a reply
  10. Twins: Exploring implications for their interactions with parents and classroom placement at school Leave a reply
  11. Dyslexia or literacy difficulties: what difference does a label make? Exploring the perceptions and experiences of young people Leave a reply
  12. The role of emotion recognition and externalising behaviour for educational outcomes Leave a reply
  13. An exploration of how the secondary school experience contributes to elevated anxiety levels for adolescents on the autism spectrum Leave a reply
  14. Sense of school belonging: How can schools make a difference? Leave a reply
  15. Adoptive parenting from adolescence to early adulthood Leave a reply
  16. The participation of autistic pupils in decision-making about their school experiences: A case study of one school Leave a reply
  17. Evaluating the effectiveness of phonics as a method for teaching reading to children and young people who experience learning difficulties and are educated in Special School settings Leave a reply
  18. The impact of attributions on the understanding and management of challenging behaviour in schools Leave a reply
  19. Intervening effectively at home and in school to improve children’s social, emotional and behavioural outcomes: an evaluation of nurture group and attachment-based approaches Leave a reply