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Functioning and quality of life in transition-aged youth on the autism spectrum – associations with autism symptom severity and mental health problems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3892-2794
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Number of Authors: 52023 (English)In: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, ISSN 1750-9467, E-ISSN 1878-0237, Vol. 104, article id 102168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research notes difficulties in functioning and low quality of life (QoL) among transition-age youth on the autism spectrum, and poor mental health may contribute to these difficulties. This study examined the role of autism symptom severity and mental health problems on self-reported functioning and QoL in treatment-seeking transition-age autistic youth. The study included 140 autistic youth (16–25 years, M = 20.44 (SD = 2.95); n = 91 females [65%], n = 42 males [30%], n = 7 non-binary [5%]). We assessed functioning using a structured interview and QoL through a self-report questionnaire. Factors potentially associated with functioning and QoL were assessed using standardized self-report questionnaires of autism symptom severity, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and information from medical records. Participants reported functioning on the 90th percentile compared to general population norms, indicating significant disability, and also rated low overall QoL. Regression analysis showed that autism symptom severity and anxiety symptoms, and to some extent gender and having an ADHD diagnosis, explained 46% of the variance in overall functioning. Symptoms of anxiety and depression, and to a lesser extent, active friendship, explained 43% of the variance in QoL. Sampling limitations of the study include the overrepresentation of women and newly diagnosed participants. We highlight that functioning and QoL are multifactorial, necessitating a comprehensive assessment of transition-aged autistic youth, including mental health problems, to plan tangible interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 104, article id 102168
Keywords [en]
Functioning, Co-occurrence, Self-report, Autism spectrum disorder, Transition-age, Quality of life
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-220223DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2023.102168ISI: 000987041400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85153207288OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-220223DiVA, id: diva2:1791315
Available from: 2023-08-25 Created: 2023-08-25 Last updated: 2023-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Roll-Pettersson, Lise

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