Social and Vocational Skills Training Reduces Self-reported Anxiety and Depression Among Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum
- 1.5k Downloads
Those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) frequently experience high levels of anxiety and depression. These psychological factors may be related to some of the core challenges seen among those with ASD, including social difficulties. We examined whether a social and vocational skills intervention program for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum would yield a broader impact that partially alleviated these psychological factors. Following the intervention program participants reported significantly lower depression and anxiety. Responses on a measure of peer relationships were also improved post-intervention, although this did not reach significance. Although preliminary, our findings demonstrate the broader, positive impact that such programs may have.
KeywordsAsperger’s syndrome Vocational support Social skills, anxiety, depression, peer relationships
This work was funded in part by grants from NINDS (K23 NS43222) (DQB), The Columbus Foundation, The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding, The Ingram-White Castle Foundation, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation.
- Attwood, T. (2008). The complete guide to Asperger’s syndrome. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S. (1997). Mindblindness: an essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): evidence from Asperger Syndrome / high functioning autism, males, females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 5–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). Beck depression inventory. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Hudson, W. W. (1992). The index of peer relations. Copyright, Walter W. HudsonGoogle Scholar
- Posavac, E. J., & Carey, R. G. (1992). Program evaluation: methods and case studies (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc.Google Scholar
- Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., Lushene, P. R., Vagg, P. R., & Jacobs, A. G. (1983). Manual for the state-trait anxiety inventory (form Y). Palo Alto: Mind Garden.Google Scholar
- Stichter, J. P., Herzog, M. J., Visovsky, K., Schmidt, C., Randolph, J., Schultz, T., et al. (2010). Social competence intervention for youth with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism: an initial investigation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(9), 1067–1079.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vickerstaff, S., Heriot, S., Wong, M., Lopes, A., & Dossetor, D. (2007). Intellectual ability, self-perceived social competence, and depressive symptomatology in children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1647–1664.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar