Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 687–694 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Psychosocial Interventions for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Lauren Bishop-FitzpatrickEmail author
  • Nancy J. Minshew
  • Shaun M. Eack
Original Paper


Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) spend the majority of their lives as adults, and psychosocial interventions show promise for improving outcomes in this population. This research conducted a systematic review of all peer-review studies evaluating psychosocial interventions for adults with ASD. A total of 1,217 studies were reviewed, only 13 met inclusion criteria. The majority of studies were single case studies or non-randomized controlled trials, and most focused on applied behavior analysis or social cognition training. Effects of psychosocial treatment in adults with ASD were largely positive ranging from d = 0.14–3.59, although the quantity and quality of studies is limited. There is substantial need for the rigorous development and evaluation of psychosocial treatments for adults with ASD.


Asperger’s Pervasive developmental disorder Treatment Therapy 



This research was supported by grants to Nancy J. Minshew and Shaun M. Eack from the NIMH (MH-85851), Department of Defense (AR100344), NCRR (RR-24154), Autism Speaks, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Bishop-Fitzpatrick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nancy J. Minshew
    • 2
  • Shaun M. Eack
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, School of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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