Work-Related Self-Efficacy and Illness Identity in Adults with Autism

Liron Lamash, Sonya Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Finding and retaining employment significantly challenges individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The employment rates of individuals with ASD are described as extremely low, barred by various environmental, occupational, and personal factors. Illness identity is how a person’s health condition integrates with their identity and daily life and relates to self-esteem, employment, and quality of life. Adults with ASD may experience challenges developing positive identities within social and work environments, but illness identity has not been studied among this population. This study examines the autism identity of adults with ASD and the relationships to their self-reported work-related self-efficacy and quality of life. Seventeen participants aged 19–47 years diagnosed with ASD completed the Illness Identity Questionnaire, Work-Related Self-Efficacy Scale and World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment. Participants reported significantly higher autism acceptance feelings. Negative feelings about living with autism were significantly correlated to lower work-related self-efficacy. Higher levels of enrichment feelings were significantly associated with a higher quality of life. These findings highlight the effect of illness identity on the work-related self-efficacy and quality of life among individuals with ASD. Allied health professionals and educators can assist these individuals in raising their awareness of how they perceive their autism, and in promoting its positive perception.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • identity
  • quality of life
  • work-related self-esteem


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