Peer mentoring and social relationships of young adults

This project is undertaking two interlinked research studies:

(1) To develop, implement and evaluate a peer mentoring program for young autistic adults in higher education with the following research objectives:

(a) To explore the experiences of autistic students at Curtin University involved in the pilot Curtin specialist mentoring program in order to inform the design, development, and implementation of refined peer mentoring program modules

(b) To undertake a literature review examining the factors that influence success in higher education contexts for young autistic adults

(c) To post-test measurement of the mentoring program participants on outcomes such as academic self-efficacy, university retention, and well-being of young autistic adults

(d) To explore the social challenges young autistic adults experience while attending higher education

(e) To explore the feasibility of incorporating a work-experience component into the current peer mentoring program

(f) To identify those key factors important in establishing a successful peer mentoring program for higher education autistic students

(g) To design and develop peer mentoring program modules including a face-to-face module and e-mentoring module

(h) To implement the developed peer mentoring modules in a program at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University

(i) To evaluate the effectiveness of both the face-to-face peer mentoring program and e-mentoring program for autistic school leavers

(j) To involve participants in the development of the computer-based social¬ emotional training intervention as part of the second research study.

(2) To develop computer-based, social-emotional training intervention with a brain-computer interface, Including participants from the first study to inform intervention development, with the following research objectives:

(a) To develop a measurement framework for assessing social-emotional functioning

(b) To develop a computer-based emotion recognition training intervention

(c) To pilot test the computer-based emotion recognition training intervention and study protocol with participants of program one and adolescents, hence enabling their experiences to inform the development of the intervention

(d) To develop a brain-computer interface using biofeedback technology

(e) To pilot test the brain-computer interface using biofeedback technology with autistic adolescents and adults

(f) To finalise the two computer-based emotion recognition training interventions to be evaluated in stage two of the project

(g) To run a randomised wait-list controlled trial aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of computer-based emotion recognition training interventions delivered via two mediums

(h) To translate knowledge from research findings to stakeholders including consumers, healthcare professionals, employers and higher education providers, industry and commercialisation, and researchers
Project Leader(s)
  • Sonya Girdler, Curtin University
Project code
3.032RS