Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 11, pp 2710–2719 | Cite as

Social Participation Among Young Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Gael I. OrsmondEmail author
  • Paul T. Shattuck
  • Benjamin P. Cooper
  • Paul R. Sterzing
  • Kristy A. Anderson
Original Paper


Investigating social participation of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is important given the increasing number of youth aging into young adulthood. Social participation is an indicator of life quality and overall functioning. Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2, we examined rates of participation in social activities among young adults who received special education services for autism (ASD group), compared to young adults who received special education for intellectual disability, emotional/behavioral disability, or a learning disability. Young adults with an ASD were significantly more likely to never see friends, never get called by friends, never be invited to activities, and be socially isolated. Among those with an ASD, lower conversation ability, lower functional skills, and living with a parent were predictors of less social participation.


Autism spectrum disorder Social participation Young adulthood 



This work was supported by funding to Dr. Shattuck from the Organization for Autism Research, Autism Speaks, the Emch Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH086489). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or other funders.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gael I. Orsmond
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul T. Shattuck
    • 2
  • Benjamin P. Cooper
    • 2
  • Paul R. Sterzing
    • 3
  • Kristy A. Anderson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Occupational TherapyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Brown School of Social WorkWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WelfareUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Waisman CenterUniversity of Wisconsin MadisonMadisonUSA

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