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Researchers from the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) and departments of Psychology and Kinesiology 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. This work could only be completed thanks to the generosity of the 294 participants aged 53-96 (57% female, 97% White, 97% without an autism diagnosis) who 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. 

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Submitted by: College Communications