Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Effects of Anxiety Disorders on Life Outcomes of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

With growing prevalence rates, the population of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is shifting, as those who are children enter adulthood. Autism has high comorbidity with anxiety disorders. This study examines how the presence of ASD and anxiety affects varying life factors such as friendships, employment, and quality of life. The survey, completed by 97 caregivers of clients of the North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program, examined the presence of comorbid anxiety disorders and their relationship to adult outcomes. Results indicated the presence of anxiety symptoms impacted quality of life and daily living skills for individuals with ASD. Factors such as overlapping symptoms for dual diagnosis and the use of caregiver report were limitations within this study. With 27% of the sample having an anxiety disorder, findings highlight needed assessment to impact anxiety on adult outcomes for individuals with autism. Further research is essential to assist the growing ASD population.