The relation of social activity to internalizing disorders in adults with autism Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Clary, Katherine
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences
  • Persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have high rates of comorbid anxiety and depression. The purpose of this study was to test whether increased social activities is associated with reduced anxiety and depression symptoms and higher Quality of Life in adults with ASD. A survey was conducted of 189 caregivers of adults with autism who were diagnosed as children. The survey included measures of mental health diagnoses including anxiety or depression, internalizing symptom severity using the Anxiety, Depression and Mood Scale (ADAMS), and a number of questions about social activities. These social activities questions were combined to create a social activity index and a friends activity index. It was predicted that internalizing symptoms and Quality of Life would be affected by the number and kind of social activities in which the individual was involved and by the level of functioning of the individual. Results showed that friends based activities were related to functioning level and that social activities increased the sense of belonging, life satisfaction, and empowerment on a Quality of Life measure. Effects of specific social activities on symptoms of anxiety and depression were also discussed.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Klinger, Laura
  • Klinger, Mark
  • Chan, Dara
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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