Social Participation Among Young Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
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.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Social participation Young adulthood
- Billstedt, E., Gillberg, I. C., & Gillberg, C. (2007). Autism in adults: Symptom patterns and early childhood predictors. The use of the DISCO in a community sample followed from childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 1102–1110. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01774.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Eussen, M. L. J. M, Van Gool, A. R., Verheij, F., De Nijs, P. F. A., Verhulst, F. C., & Greaves-Lord, K. (2012). The association of quality of social relations, symptom severity and intelligence with anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Advance. (online publication). doi: 10.1177/1362361312453882.
- Hofvander, B., Delorme, R., Chaste, P., Nydén, A., Wentz, E., Ståhlberg, O., et al. (2009). Psychiatric and psychosocial problems in adults with normal-intelligence autism spectrum disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 9. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-9-35.
- Howlin, P., Mawhood, L., & Rutter, M. (2000). Autism and developmental receptive language disorder—A follow-up comparison in early adult life. II: Social, behavioural, and psychiatric outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 561–578. doi:10.1111/1469-7610.00643.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. (2012). IACC strategic plan for autism spectrum disorder research—2012 update. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. http://iacc.hhs.gov/strategic-plan/2012/index.shtml.
- IVEware. (2002). Imputation and variance estimation software [computer program]. Version 1.0. Ann Arbor: Survey Methodology Program, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
- Raghunathan, T. E., Lepkowski, J. M., Van Hoewyk, J., & Solenberger, P. W. (2001). A multivariate technique for multiply imputing missing values using a sequence of regression models. Survey Methodology, 27, 85–95.Google Scholar
- Seltzer, M. M., Greenberg, J. S., Taylor, J. L., Smith, L., Orsmond, G. I., Esbensen, A., et al. (2011). Adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders. In D. G. Amaral, G. Dawson, & D. H. Geschwind (Eds.), Autism spectrum disorders (pp. 241–252). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Shattuck, P. T., Seltzer, M. M., Greenberg, J. S., Orsmond, G. I., Bolt, D., Kring, S., et al. (2007). Change in autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors in adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(9), 1735–1747. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0307-7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- SRI International. (2000). National Longitudinal Transition Study II (NLTS2) Sampling Plan. Menlo Park, CA: Author.Google Scholar
- Verdugo, M. A., Navas, P., Gómez, L. E., & Schalock, R. L. (2012). The concept of quality of life and its role in enhancing human rights in the field of intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56(11), 1036–1045. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2012.01585.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wagner, M., Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., & Epstein, M. H. (2005). The Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study and the National Longitudinal Transition Study: Study designs and implications for children and youth with emotional disturbance. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 13, 25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Whitehouse, A. J. O., Watt, H. J., Line, E. A., & Bishop, D. V. M. (2009). Adult psychosocial outcomes of children with specific language impairment, pragmatic language impairment and autism. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 44(4), 511–528. doi:10.1080/13682820802708098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability, and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar