Characterization and Utilization of Preferred Interests: A Survey of Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Kristie Patten Koenig, Lauren Hough Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This descriptive study examined the role that preferred interests played in an adult population with autism spectrum disorders—how preferred interests are viewed retrospectively during childhood, as well as how adults on the spectrum have incorporated these interests into their current lives. Results showed that participants have a positive view of preferred interests, view preferred interests as a way to mitigate anxiety, and engage in vocational and avocational pursuits around their preferred interests. Findings support a strength-based view of preferred interests with the majority of participants articulating that their areas of interest were positive, beneficial, and should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalOccupational Therapy in Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Asperger syndrome
  • autism
  • occupations
  • preferred interests
  • quality of life
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • ASD
  • occupational therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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