General health status of youth with autism with and without intellectual disabilities transitioning from special education, and its relationship to personal and family circumstances: Longitudinal cohort study

Ewelina Rydzewska, Michael Fleming, Daniel Mackay, Genevieve Young-Southward, Jan Blacher, Yasamin Ross Bolourian, Keith Widaman, Sally-Ann Cooper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Transition from school to early adulthood incurs many changes and may be associated with deterioration in general health in youth with autism. We aimed to investigate this.

Method: The National Longitudinal Transitions Study-2 is a USA nationally representative sample of youth receiving special education services, aged 13–17 at wave 1, followed-up over 10 years in five data collection waves. We conducted random-effects ordered logistic regressions to determine the odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals of wave, age, sex, ethnicity/race, additional intellectual disabilities, parental/guardian relationship status, and household income being associated with general health status in youth with autism.

Results: Across waves, only between 74.3%–69.6% had excellent/very good health (71.7%–58.8% in those with co-occurring intellectual disabilities), but wave was not associated with health status. Associations were with age OR = 1.18 (1.04, 1.33), co-occurring intellectual disabilities OR = 1.56 (1.00, 2.44), and household income OR = 0.61 (0.40, 0.94) at $30,001–$50,000, OR = 0.44 (0.27, 0.72) at $50,001–$70,000, and OR = 0.34 (0.20, 0.56) at $70,001+. Sex, ethnicity/race, and parental/guardian relationship status were not associated with health status.

Conclusion: There was little change in general health status longitudinally across the transitional period, but the proportion with excellent/very good health was low at each wave. Transitional planning should consider co-occurring intellectual disabilities, and the wider socioeconomic context in which children/youth with autism are raised. Lack of other longitudinal studies indicates a need for replication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalInternational journal of developmental disabilities
Early online date30 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • health inequalities
  • health status
  • autism
  • transition
  • life course epidemiology
  • longitudinal studies

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'General health status of youth with autism with and without intellectual disabilities transitioning from special education, and its relationship to personal and family circumstances: Longitudinal cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this