HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 44 no. 1 (2011)

“It Makes Me What I Am”: An Interpretative Phenomenological Investigation of the Social-Emotional World of an Adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome

Anthony S. Grecia | Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo

Discipline: Psychology



This study focused on the social-emotional world of an adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis or IPA. A 15-year-old male who was enrolled in high school and received a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome was interviewed. This single-case IPA was conducted by the researcher-clinician and another independent, nonclinical investigator. The results revealed the unique and shared interpretative phenomenology of an adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome. On one hand was a social-emotional world characterized by the unique experience of the symptoms of the disorder alongside issues in cognitive processing, maladaptive coping patterns, and experiences of depression. On the other were needs and concerns typical of adolescents in this developmental stage. These findings were discussed in relation to adolescent identity development, information-processing, challenging the impairment perspective of social interaction in Asperger’s Syndrome, and implications to parents, clinical practitioners, and the educational system.