Psychosocial Treatments Targeting Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents and Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Review of the Latest Research and Recommended Future Directions

Susan W. White, Grace Lee Simmons, Katherine O. Gotham, Caitlin M. Conner, Isaac C. Smith, Kelly B. Beck, Carla A. Mazefsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of Review: This synthesis of treatment research related to anxiety and depression in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) focuses on the scientific support for various forms of psychosocial interventions, useful adaptations to standard interventions, and engagement of candidate therapeutic mechanisms. Recent Findings: There is considerable evidence for the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat co-occurring problems with anxiety, but there has been relatively little research on treatment of co-occurring depression. Multiple mechanisms of treatment effect have been proposed, but there has been little demonstration of target engagement via experimental therapeutics. Summary: Comorbidity between ASD and anxiety and/or mood problems is common. Although there is evidence for the use of CBT for anxiety, little work has addressed how to effectively treat depression. There is emerging support for alternative treatment approaches, such as mindfulness-based interventions. We encourage rigorous, collaborative approaches to identify and manipulate putative mechanisms of change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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