Psychology
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Psychology

Amanda Roestorf

Department of Psychology

Autism Research Group

E: amanda.roestorf@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Changes in Cognitive Functioning and Quality of Life in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Context of Ageing

Supervisors: Professor Dermot Bowler and Professor Patricia Howlin (Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London)

Collaborators: National Autistic Society (Ms Carol Povey - Director of Centre for Autism)

Higher educational background

Current MSc Research Methods & Psychology/PhD (1+3), City, University of London
2013 BSc Psychology (Hons), 1st class degree, City University London

Overview and research interests

My particular area of research is focused on age-related changes in general psychological functioning and physical well-being across the adult lifespan of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the impact of these changes on quality of life. The research will draw comparisons between younger adults (18+ years old) and older adults (50+ years old), to explore how psychological profiles and cognitive functioning changes across the lifespan.

Specifically, this research will explore how the ageing process affects cognitive changes in adults with ASD relative to typically developed ageing adults. ASD is a lifelong developmental disorder, which is known to present with differences in various domains of cognitive and social functioning, as well as physical well-being. Changes in cognitive functioning will include measures of IQ, executive function, memory and language. While physical well-being will explore the effects of long-term medication use, seizures and other comorbid health conditions on cognitive functioning and quality of life during the course of ageing. Currently, very little is known about how the ageing process affects older adults on the autism spectrum. The research project aims to address this question across several domains, and will continue over the next 4 years.

The overarching project aims are to establish: (i) what the psychological, physical, and social-emotional well-being looks like in older (ageing) adults with autism; (ii) how the ageing process affects or alters these domains by cross-sectional comparison of younger and older adults with autism; (iii) the effects of any changes in these domains on quality of life in ageing adults with autism; and (iv) how this differs for adults with autism, in comparison to typically developed ageing adults.

Research interests

  • Autism
  • Ageing
  • Quality of life
  • Memory
  • Executive function.

Academic submissions and presentations

Oral presentation 2015 IMFAR (International Meeting for Autism Research) Cognitive Ageing in ASD (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) Oral Presentation: A. Roestorf, D.M. Bowler & P. Howlin

Title: Ageing and Psychological Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Publication Roestorf, A. (2014). Ageing and Psychological Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Master’s Dissertation, City University London
Abstract submitted

2014 IMFAR (International Meeting for Autism Research) Scientific Panel: ASD & Ageing (Atlanta, GA, US)

Abstract submission: Green, A., Bowler, D.M. & Howlin, P.

Title: Changes in Cognitive Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Context of Ageing

Awards

2013-2017 (current) MSc/PhD (1+3) Doctoral Training Studentship, MRC UK CASE Studentship/City, University of London
2012 Vacation Research Bursary, City University London

Academic/research experience

Current Honorary Researcher: Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
06/2012 - current

Research Assistant: Autism Research Group, City, University of London

Research Focus: Episodic memory development across the lifespan in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ongoing)

Supervisor/PI: Dr Sebastian Gaigg/Dr Emily Jones (Birbeck)

08/2012 - current

Research Assistant: Development Research Group, City, University of London

Research focus: Meta-analysis of gender-typed toy preferences of boys and girls (ongoing)

Supervisor/PI: Dr Brenda Todd/Dr John Barry (UCL)

11/2011 - 01/2012

Research Assistant: Memory Research Unit, City University London

Research focus: Short-Term and Semantic Long-Term Memory

Supervisor/PI: Dr Marie Poirier

Skills and training

  • Qualtrics surveys
  • E-Prime
  • Tobii Eye Tracking
  • Matlab analytics
  • CANTAB.

Links

Amanda Roestorf can be found on Research Gate

Twitter: @amanda_roestorf