Perceived Psychosocial Work Environment and Support among Employed Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Cross-sectional Survey Study in Sweden
Abstract: Based on previous research regarding employment among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the clinical description of ASD, this study focused on ten work environment factors: emotional demands, variation of work, predictability, role clarity, leadership, social support from colleagues and supervisor, social community, inclusivity, and using strengths. These work environment factors were assessed from the perspective of employed adults with ASD as well as psychologists providing employment support at the Swedish Public Employment Services to adults with ASD. In study 1, seventy employed adults with ASD filled out an online questionnaire to assess the relationships and to identify the best predictors of job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and stress regarding the ten work environment factors. In study 2, thirty-eight psychologists filled out an online questionnaire rating the importance and frequency of the same work environment factors as support areas in their support with a special focus on the best predictors from study 1, while they also provided workplace adjustment recommendations for employers in relation to each area. Study 1 identified the relationships of included variables and indicated that job satisfaction was best predicted by role clarity and using strengths, whereas life satisfaction was best predicted by using strengths, and stress was best predicted by emotional demands, predictability, and using strengths. Study 2 demonstrated that role clarity, using strengths, emotional demands, and predictability were also among the most frequent and most important support areas as perceived by the psychologists. Finally, thematic categories of workplace adjustment recommendations for employers were highlighted in relation to these support areas.
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