Purpose of Review
There is a perceived shortage of evidence-based treatment programs for adults on the autism spectrum. This article reviews the recent research literature on psychosocial/behavioral interventions targeting social functioning in autistic adults without intellectual disability.
We identified only 41 peer-reviewed studies published from 1980 to 2017 that tested intervention programs focused on one or more of the behavioral components of social functioning (i.e., social motivation, social anxiety, social cognition, and social skills) in more than one adult with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The studies demonstrated substantial variability in treatment objectives, intervention procedures, assessment methods, and methodologic quality.
The results indicate a strong need for additional research to develop and rigorously test interventions for autistic adults that target the many behavioral components of social functioning and that include procedures to promote generalization of knowledge and skills to community settings.
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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
*Papers included in this review
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The editors would like to thank Dr. Anthony Rostain for taking the time to review this manuscript
This study was funded by the NIMH (R34MH104407).
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Autism Spectrum Disorders: Treatment, Services, Outcomes, and Community Functioning in Adolescents and Adults
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Pallathra, A.A., Cordero, L., Wong, K. et al. Psychosocial Interventions Targeting Social Functioning in Adults on the Autism Spectrum: a Literature Review. Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 5 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-0989-0
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