Factor structure and psychometric properties of the brief Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale for adults on the autism spectrum Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Resilience is an increasingly popular concept in literature as a protective factor against mental ill-health. While elevated rates of anxiety and mood disorders occur in adults on the autism spectrum, there is a gap in literature investigating the application of resilience to this population. This brief report examined the factor structure and psychometric properties of the 10-item Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale in a sample of 95 autistic adults ( Mage = 44). Our findings provide evidence for a unidimensional structure and robust psychometric properties of the scale in an autistic population, in line with factorial studies involving the general population. Lay Abstract Adults on the autism spectrum experience high rates of anxiety and depression, and may be particularly vulnerable to difficult and traumatic life experiences, which may contribute to the development and maintenance of these conditions. Resilience is an increasingly popular concept in research, which describes the ability to ‘bounce back’ following difficult emotional experiences, and the flexibility to adapt to stressful and demanding situations. The Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale has been used predominantly in studies involving non-autistic adults to measure resilience. While resilience is a potentially important concept for autistic adults, the suitability of the 10-item version of the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale for use with adults on the spectrum has not yet been studied. In this short report, we investigate whether the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale 10 is a valid measure to use with this population, and its relationship with other measures of mental well- or ill-being. Participants were 95 autistic adults with a mean age of 44 (63% female) who completed measures of resilience, autism symptoms, depression, anxiety and mental wellbeing. Overall, the findings indicate that the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale 10 may be reliably used with autistic adults to measure trait resilience, which is associated with positive wellbeing and may serve as a protective factor from negative mental wellbeing. Future studies may use the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale 10 to investigate resilience as a protective factor from negative mental health outcomes in response to traumatic and adverse emotional events for which autistic individuals may be particularly susceptible.

publication date

  • August 1, 2020