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Positive Well-Being May Protect Against Depression in People with Autism

In an Autism Research study of 36 newly employed adults with autism spectrum disorder who were participating in a supported employment program, positive well-being—or a sense of happiness and life satisfaction—was associated with a lower risk of developing depression over 12 months of follow-up.

Thursday, January 24, 2019 12:01 am EST

In an Autism Research study of 36 newly employed adults with autism spectrum disorder who were participating in a supported employment program, positive well-being—or a sense of happiness and life satisfaction—was associated with a lower risk of developing depression over 12 months of follow-up.

Apart from a slight increase in daily living skills and a slight decrease in job satisfaction, other measures of mental health and well-being remained stable over time, suggesting that intervention programs that specifically target mental health and well-being in the workplace may be needed to improve outcomes.

“While previous research has tended to focus on the negative aspects of mental health such as depression and anxiety, in this study we felt it was also important to focus on positive well-being—a construct often overlooked in autism research in adulthood. There needs to be more mental health research involving adults with autism, and it is particularly important to understand what predicts good mental health and better outcomes overall” said lead author Dr. Darren Hedley, of Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University, in Australia.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/aur.2064  

About Journal 

Autism Research covers research relevant to ASD and closely related neurodevelopmental disorders. The journal focuses on genetic, neurobiological, immunological, epidemiological and psychological mechanisms and how these influence developmental processes in ASD. The journal encourages the submission of original research papers (Research Articles and Short Reports) that take a developmental approach to the biology and psychology of autism, with a particular emphasis on identifying underlying mechanisms and integrating across different levels of analysis. Contributions are typically empirical, but the journal also publishes theoretical papers if they significantly advance thinking. The journal encourages papers reporting work on animals or cell or other model systems that are directly relevant to a better understanding of ASD. The journal also publishes reports of carefully conducted clinical trials of treatments for the core symptoms or one of the common co-morbid symptoms of ASD. Papers presenting clinical trials will be judged, in part, on whether there is an empirical justification for the reported treatment. Individuals included in research studies can span the full spectrum of ASD, including the broader phenotype, and there are no restrictions on study participants in terms of age or intellectual ability.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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