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Social and Vocational Skills Training Reduces Self-reported Anxiety and Depression Among Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

  • Ashleigh J. Hillier
  • Tom Fish
  • Jeffrey H. Siegel
  • David Q. Beversdorf
Original Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Asperger’s syndrome Vocational support Social skills, anxiety, depression, peer relationships 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashleigh J. Hillier
    • 1
  • Tom Fish
    • 2
  • Jeffrey H. Siegel
    • 2
  • David Q. Beversdorf
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.The Nisonger CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Radiology, Neurology, Psychological Sciences and the Thompson CenterUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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