The Relation between Employment and Depression in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Schweers, Molly
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Many studies have investigated the symptoms, etiology, and intervention strategies for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, little research has addressed outcomes of adults with ASD. Additionally, research on co-occurring disorders such as depression is also very limited. This study looked at predictors of depression in adults with ASD, specifically employment and ASD symptom severity. This study measured co-morbid disorders including depression, long term outcomes, and ASD symptom severity in 97 adults with ASD diagnosed at the TEACCH Autism Program between 1965 and 2000 reported by caregivers of the adults. In addition to the data collected from adulthood, childhood assessment data were used including intelligence, ASD symptom severity, and adaptive functioning. Employment, childhood intelligence, and ASD symptom severity were predicted to be related to the presence of depression in adults with ASD. The results showed employment factors were most significantly related to depression in adults. Vocational index, number of hours worked per week, and current job status were strong predictors of depression. Specifically, individuals who had previously held a job but were not currently employed were more likely to score higher on the ADAMS Depression scale than individuals who never had a job or who were currently employed. Activities of daily living were also related to current depression. These findings show the importance of focusing interventions on integrating supported employment and depression interventions to help decrease depressive symptoms and increase employment outcomes.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Burker, Eileen
  • Klinger, Mark
  • Klinger, Laura
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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