2. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Asklepios Klinik Nord, Langenhorner Chaussee 560, 22419 Hamburg, Germany.
Background: Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a kind of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is characterized by patterns of repetitive behavior, special interests and difficulties in social interaction. Especially due to the impairment in social interaction, partnerships with their special demands for social competence seems to be a challenge for individuals with AS. But data about working of such partnerships are rare. Therefore it was aim of this study to find out how these partnerships function and in which areas problems maybe occur.
Subjects and methods: 12 adults with an AS (8 female, 4 male adults) and their partners (11 heterosexual partnerships, one female homosexual partnership, average age 40.4 years) were asked about their partnerships via the two questionnaires "Fragebogen zur Einschätzung von Partnerschaft und Familie" (EPF) and "Partnerschaftsfragebogen" (PFB). T-scores were computed and interpreted.
Results: Highest T-Scores, indicating problematic areas, were found in the scales of affective communication, problem-solving communication and quarreling. Ratings of global happiness showed participants to be between >rather happy< and >happy<. There were no significant rating differences between individuals with AS and their partners.
Conclusions: Problematic areas of partnerships in individuals with AS especially occur in the section of communication, not surprisingly, as it is one of their difficult fields. Nevertheless, at large it can be concluded that partnerships in individuals with AS seem to work.
Keywords: Asperger syndrome, autism, partnership, sexuality