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Keywords:

  • autism spectrum disorders;
  • depression;
  • rumination;
  • insight

The aim of this study was to examine the association between depressive symptoms and several psychosocial constructs (insight into autism symptoms, rumination, desire for social interaction, and satisfaction with social support) that may play a role in the development or maintenance of depression in verbally fluent adolescents and adults with ASD. Participants included 50 individuals with ASD and verbal IQ ≥ 70, aged 16–35 (sample size varied by measure). Elevated depressive symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd edition (BDI-II), were associated with greater self-perceived, autism-related impairments (n = 48), greater rumination (n = 21), and lower perceived social support (n = 37). Rumination tended to moderate the association between self-perceived autism symptoms and BDI-II scores (n = 21), and was significantly associated with ASD-related insistence on sameness behaviors (n = 18). An unexpected relationship between depressive features and social participation and motivation will need to be clarified by longitudinal research. These and similar findings contribute to our understanding of the phenomenology of depression in ASD, which is critical to the development of practical prevention and treatment. Autism Res 2014, 7: 381–391. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.