Flourishing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Claudia Hilton, Karen Ratcliff, Diane Collins, Joanne Flanagan, Ickpyo Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Flourishing is an indicator of positive mental health and is important for children’s development and well-being. We used variables from the National Survey of Children’s Health 2016 as indicators of flourishing (difficulty making friends, is bullied, bullies others, shares ideas with family, argues, finishes tasks, does all homework, shows curiosity, stays calm, and cares about doing well in school) to compare differences in parent perceptions of their children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We anticipate that these findings will help identify intervention targets to support the well-being of individuals with ASD. Children between 6 and 17 years of age, without intellectual disability, brain injury, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome were included. Total participants were 34,171 controls (male/female = 17,116/17,155) and 812 with ASD (male/female = 668/144). Factor analysis resulted in three-factor structures (social competence, behavioral control, and school motivation) with good model fit (root mean square error of approximation = 0.08, comparative fit index = 0.92, Tucker–Lewis index = 0.89). The multivariate regression model and propensity score with inverse probability of treatment weighting (PS-IPTW) method revealed that children with ASD had lower scores in the social competence and behavioral control factors compared to the control group (all P < 0.05). However, no significant differences were found in the school motivation factor between the two groups (P > 0.05) in both multivariate regression model and PS-IPTW method. Findings suggest that social competence and behavioral control are indicators of flourishing and are important intervention targets to increase flourishing among children with ASD. Autism Res 2019, 00: 1–15. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10.1002/aur.2097
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages15
JournalAutism Research
Early online dateMar 26 2019
StateE-pub ahead of print - Mar 26 2019


  • flourishing; autism; social competence; behavioral control; school motivation; large data


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