Individuals on the autism spectrum experience difficulties in social relationships and emotion regulation. The aim of the present exploratory research study was to develop and explore the effectiveness of a manualized emotion regulation group intervention for autistic adults to improve emotion regulation and social communication. The group participants included seven young adults (age > 18 years) on the autism spectrum. Primary outcome measures were the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-2) and the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ). Group participants reported significant improvements on the Social Communication and Interaction subscale (SCI; t = 2.601, p = .041), the Social Awareness (AWR; t = 3.163, p = .019), and the Social Cognition (COG; t = 4.861, p = .003) subscales of the SRS-2: Self Report. Overall, this study provides preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of a group treatment approach that focuses on emotion regulation to improve social interactions for young adults on the autism spectrum.
Keywords: autism; emotion regulation; intervention; social group; young adult.