More than Leisure: Organized Activity Participation and Socio-Emotional Adjustment Among Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- 552 Downloads
Adolescents with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) experience difficulties with socio-emotional adjustment, including compromised friendships, feelings of loneliness, and depression. Using a sample of 127 adolescents with HFASD and their parents, this study is first to examine: (1) relations between organized activity (OA) involvement and adjustment and (2) whether these relations were moderated by social impairment and executive functions. Results indicated that greater intensity, breadth, and academic OA involvement were associated with fewer depressive symptoms. OA intensity was also associated with less loneliness. For adolescents with better emotional control, greater intensity was associated with better friendship quality. Results suggest that for adolescents with HFASD, more involvement in OA is associated with better socio-emotional adjustment even after accounting for risk factors.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Organized activity Social adjustment
The authors would like to acknowledge the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute for their assistance in recruitment for this study. Compensation for study participants was funded by an internal research grant from Loyola University Chicago.
AB conceived of the study, provided oversight in its design, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. RL conceived of the study, coordinated its design, performed the statistical analyses, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. NA performed the statistical analyses, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc.Google Scholar
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 national survey on drug use and health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/.
- Clarke, G. N., Lewinsohn, P. M., Hops, H., & Seeley, J. R. (1992). A self- and parent-report measure of adolescent depression: The Child Behavior Checklist Depression scale (CBCL-D). Behavioral Assessment, 14, 443–463.Google Scholar
- Constantino, J. N., Davis, S. A., Todd, R. D., Schindler, M. K., Gross, M. M., Brophy, S. L., et al. (2003). Validation of a brief quantitative measure of autistic traits: Comparison of the social responsiveness scale with the autism diagnostic interview-revised. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33, 427–433.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gioia, G. A., Isquith, P. K., Guy, S. C., & Kenworthy, L. (2000). Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function Professional Manual. Lutz: Psychological Assessment Resources Inc.Google Scholar
- Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: Examples from the child-clinical and pediatric psychology literatures. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(4), 599–610. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.65.4.599.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Howell, D. C. (2010). Statistical methods for psychology (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
- Klin, A., McPartland, J., & Volkmar, F. R. (2005). Asperger Syndrome. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd ed., pp. 88–125). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
- Locke, J., Ishijima, E., Kasari, C., & London, N. (2010). Loneliness, friendship quality, and the social networks of adolescents with high-functioning autism in an inclusive school setting. Journal of Research in Special Education Needs, 10, 74–81. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-3802.2010.01148.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mahoney, J. L., Larson, R. W., Eccles, J. S., & Lord, H. (2005). Organized activities as developmental contexts for children and adolescents. In J. L. Mahoney, R. W. Larson, & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), Organized activities as contexts of development (pp. 1–22). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Rynders, J. E., Schleien, S. J., Meyer, L. H., & Vandercook, T. L. (1993). Improving integration outcomes for children with and without severe disabilities through cooperatively structured recreation activities: A synthesis of research. The Journal of Special Education, 26, 386–407. doi: 10.1177/002246699302600404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Semrud-Clikeman, M., Fine, J. G., & Bledsoe, J. (2014). Comparison among children with autism spectrum disorder, nonverbal learning disorder, and typically developing children on measures of executive functioning. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 331–342. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1871-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Semrud-Clikeman, M., Walkowiak, J., Wilkinson, A., & Butcher, B. (2010). Executive functioning in children with Asperger syndrome, ADHD-combined type, ADHD-predominately inattentive type, and controls. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 1017–1027. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-0951-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Solomon, M., Miller, M., Taylor, S. L., Hinshaw, S. P., & Carter, C. S. (2012). Autism symptoms and internalizing psychopathology in girls and boys with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 48–59. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1215-z.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Strang, J. F., Kenworthy, L., Daniolos, P., Case, L., Willis, M. C., Martin, A., et al. (2012). Depression and anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders without intellectual disability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 406–412.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Verte, S., Geurts, H. M., Roeyers, H., Oosterlaan, J., & Sergeant, J. A. (2006). Executive functioning in children with an autism spectrum disorder: Can we differentiate within the spectrum? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 351–372. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0074-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Volkmar, F. R., & Klin, A. (2005). Issues in the classification of autism and related conditions. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (3rd ed., pp. 5–41). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar