La Trobe
AAM_1199130_Mantzalas,J_2022.pdf (327.35 kB)

A conceptual model of risk and protective factors for autistic burnout

Download (327.35 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-26, 06:03 authored by Jane MantzalasJane Mantzalas, Amanda RichdaleAmanda Richdale, Cheryl DissanayakeCheryl Dissanayake
Early qualitative research indicates that autistic burnout is commonly experienced by autistic people and is associated with significant, negative consequences for their mental health, wellbeing, and quality of life, including suicidality. Findings to date suggest that factors associated with being autistic and the widespread lack of autism awareness and acceptance within society contribute to the onset and recurrence of autistic burnout. Based on autistic adults' descriptions of their lived experiences, a Conceptual Model of Autistic Burnout (CMAB) is proposed, which describes a series of hypothesized relationships between identified risk and protective factors that may contribute to, or buffer against, autistic burnout. The theoretical framework for the CMAB is based on the Social-Relational model of disability and neurodiversity paradigm, and the Job Demands-Resources model of burnout, and Conservation of Resources theory. The CMAB offers a holistic perspective for understanding individual, social, and environmental factors that can influence autistic burnout via various direct and indirect pathways. Autistic burnout research is in its infancy and the CMAB provides a foundation for future investigations about this condition. Lay Summary: Although many autistic people describe experiencing autistic burnout, there has been little research on this topic. Based on descriptions of autistic peoples' lived experiences, we developed a conceptual model to explore how various risk and protective factors may interact to contribute to, or prevent, autistic burnout.


Publication Date



Autism Research: official journal of the International Society for Autism Research






12p. (p. 976-987)





Rights Statement

© 2022. This is the accepted version of the following article: Mantzalas, J., Richdale, A. L., & Dissanayake, C. (2022). A conceptual model of risk and protective factors for autistic burnout. Autism Research, 15( 6), 976– 987, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the Wiley Self Archiving Policy:

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles


    No categories selected