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Autism. 2019 Feb 7:1362361319827417. doi: 10.1177/1362361319827417. [Epub ahead of print]

Sex differences in employment and supports for adults with autism spectrum disorder.

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1 Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA.
2 University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
3 Kennedy Krieger Institute, USA.
4 Johns Hopkins University, USA.


This study explored sex differences in employment, reasons for unemployment, benefits, and supports among a large, international sample of adults with autism spectrum disorder. The sample included 443 adults with autism spectrum disorder (60% female; 74% residing in the United States) who consented to be part of an autism research registry and completed an Internet survey. Outcome variables included current employment status, number of hours working, number of jobs in the past 5 years, reasons for unemployment, as well as the number of benefits received and the amount of financial support currently being received from families of origin. Using multiple regression models, we found that males and females were working at similar rates. Females were more likely than males to say that their unemployment was a result of choosing to withdraw from the labor market. Similar percentages of males and females reported receiving some form of benefits or family support, but of those receiving benefits/family support, males received more than females. These results are consistent with other studies finding subtle, but potentially important sex differences in life-course outcomes of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.


adults; autism spectrum disorders; benefits; sex differences; vocational/labor force participation

[Available on 2020-08-07]

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