Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Depression is a common concern among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is often associated with social skills and relationship challenges. The present data, from a randomized controlled trial, examined the effect of PEERS® on self-reported depressive symptoms via the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) among 49 adolescents with ASD. Findings revealed that many CDI subscale scores declined (p’s < 0.05) and were related to direct social contact on the Quality of Socialization Questionnaire at posttest (p’s < 0.05). Exploratory analyses uncovered that suicidality was less evident following PEERS®. Findings support the notion that social functioning and depression may be intimately intertwined in ASD; therefore, bolstering social skills in ASD may positively influence other domains of functioning, including mental health.