Anna Cook

Dr Anna Cook

Surrey Future Fellow
PhD, MSc, MA, BSc (Hons)
+44 (0)1483 688826
42A AC 05

Academic and research departments

School of Psychology.



Research interests

Research projects


Postgraduate research supervision



Goddard, H., & Cook, A. (2021) “I spent most of freshers in my Room”—A qualitative study of the social experiences of university students on the autistic spectrum. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(6), 2701-2716.

Autistic university students face extra challenges in both their academic and social life. Barriers to socialising appear to be less well understood and supported by universities than academic requirements. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten autistic university students to explore their social experiences. Questions explored their social experiences, satisfaction with social life, disclosure of ASD to others, and the impact of mental wellbeing on university life. Thematic analysis indicated most participants were unsatisfied with their social lives and experienced mental health issues. Factors exacerbating social isolation included lack of suitable social events, lack of social support and feeling unable to disclose to peers. Factors which reduced social isolation included joining an autism or special interest society and receiving social mentoring.