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.
Schiltz, Hillary; McVey, Alana J.; Dolan, Bridget Kathleen; Willar, Kirsten S.; Pleiss, Sheryl; Karst, Jeffrey S.; Carson, Audrey M.; Caiozzo, Christina; Vogt, Elisabeth M.; Yund, Brianna D.; and Van Hecke, Amy V., "Changes in Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescents with ASD Completing the PEERS® Social Skills Intervention" (2018). Psychology Faculty Research and Publications. 348.