Canisius College Researchers Conduct Aging and Autism Study

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ASPartOfMe
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17 Nov 2021, 10:29 am

Canisius College

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Researchers from the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) and departments of Psychology and Kinesiology at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, recently published evidence that autism characteristics are associated with challenges in physical health, mental health and psychological well-being during later life. This work was published on November 3, 2021 in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

These findings are part of the Aging and Autism Study, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging and led by Jennifer Lodi-Smith, PhD, Jonathan D. Rodgers, PhD and Karl F. Kozlowski, PhD. Two hundred and ninety-four (294) participants aged 53-96 (57% female, 97% White, 97% without an autism diagnosis) contributed their time and responses in the spring and summer of 2019.

Using survey methods, study researchers show that individuals who reported higher autism characteristics also reported greater health challenges. More specifically, they reported difficulty with social engagement due to poor physical health, poor mental health including depression and anxiety, and limited satisfaction with life and psychological well-being.

“Research on autism spectrum disorder in older adulthood lags behind that of research in other age groups,” said Kozlowski. “This research adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests that autism is associated with challenges in aging in the areas of physical health, mental health and psychological well-being.”

Addressing autism characteristics rather than clinical diagnoses also let researchers determine that characteristic social challenges have a greater association with health challenges than other autism-related characteristics. This echoes research that suggests that social factors such as social connection are critical for healthy aging.

Lodi-Smith notes that more work is urgently needed on this topic.

Bolding=mine because I completely agree.


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nick007
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24 Nov 2021, 5:42 pm

I'm NOT at all surprised by those results. Seems like common sense results to me. BTW this thread might be better in the GAD section or In-Depth Adult Life Discussion section


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