The influence of improv experience on uncertainty tolerance, social anxiety, and communication in adolescents on the autism spectrum
Date of Award
Communication Sciences & Disorders
Dr. Rachel Kasturi
This study examined the influence of an improvisational theater experience on perceptions of social anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty (IU), and quality of communication life in autistic adolescents. Seven participants were recruited from Indiana University’s Camp Yes And, a virtual day camp specializing in teaching improv strategies to autistic adolescents. Participants completed three scales measuring social anxiety, IU, and quality of communication life via surveys sent prior to and after attending the camp. It was hypothesized that levels of social anxiety and IU would decrease while quality of communication life would increase. Results indicated that pre- and post-test survey responses showed a statistically significant difference only for the IU measure. Additionally, while not statistically significant, trends indicated a slight decrease in social anxiety, particularly in response to new social situations, and a slight increase in quality of communication life. Given the results of the study, it is suggested that improv is a potentially beneficial intervention for targeting IU in some autistic adolescents and a larger study is warranted.
DesBiens, Kathryn K., "The influence of improv experience on uncertainty tolerance, social anxiety, and communication in adolescents on the autism spectrum" (2022). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 645.