Aspergers--different, not less: occupational strengths and job interests of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 20;9(6):e100358. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100358. eCollection 2014.


Rooted in the neurodiversity approach, this study provides an overview of the strengths and interests of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. We interviewed 136 individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and 155 neurotypical individuals via an online survey with regards to (a) demography, (b) occupational strengths, (c) general self-efficacy, (d) occupational self-efficacy, and (e) the job interest profile according to Holland. The vocational and educational fields of the individuals with Asperger's in the sample are more diverse than and surpass those classical fields stated in research and biographical literature. The comparison of both groups in cross-tables showed that the indicated strengths differ in several areas (ΦCramer = .02-.47), which means that a specific strength profile can be derived, and this profile goes beyond the clinical view of the diagnostic criteria. Individuals with Asperger's indicate lower self-efficacy, both general and occupational. Furthermore, a high concentration of individuals with Asperger's can be found in the areas I (Investigative) and C (Conventional) of Holland's RIASEC model.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asperger Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Young Adult

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.