Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1310–1317 | Cite as

Financial Capabilities Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Nancy C. Cheak-ZamoraEmail author
  • Michelle Teti
  • Clark Peters
  • Anna Maurer-Batjer
Original Paper


Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience significant difficulties assuming adult responsibilities and achieving independence. Little is known about their desire or ability to manage their own finances. This study explored the financial circumstances, money management skills, and desires for financial independence among 27 youth with ASD. Youth took part in 30–60 min semi-structured interviews about independence. Strategies of theme analysis identified three critical themes about finances and emerging adulthood for youth with ASD. Youth (1) defined independence by being able to manage their finances, (2) worried about their lack of money management skills, and (3) cited poor financial skills as barrier to independence. Results suggest youth with ASD understand the importance of financial capability and strive for financial independence, but lack the skills and support needed to achieve their financial goals. This study provides preliminary information for clinicians, educators, and researchers to develop financial capability modules for youth with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorder Youth/young adults Independence Financial capabilities Money management Qualitative methods 



The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Autism Research Program, Idea Development Award under Award No. W81XWH-14-1-0604. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participant included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Sciences, School of Health ProfessionsUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.School of Social Work and Truman School of Public AffairsUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.School of Social WorkUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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