The Autism Quotient Has Concurrent Validity with the Social Responsiveness Scale

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sheraton Hall (Sheraton Centre Toronto)
10:00 AM
K. Armstrong and G. Iarocci, Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Background: The Autism Quotient (AQ; Baron-Cohen et al., 2001) is a continuous, quantitative measure of traits associated with autism. It is often used as a tool to measure autism symptoms and screening for the disorder in research. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS; Constantine & Gruber, 2005) is another brief measure which can be used to measure autism symptoms, particularly in the social domain, and has well-established reliability and validity (Brooker & Starling, 2011).

Objectives: To examine the concurrent validity of the AQ using another common screening measure of autism: the SRS.

Methods: Participants with autism (n=30) were administered the AQ and the SRS. A correlation analyses was conducted to determine whether the AQ and SRS were related. A further correlation analysis employing the use of the Bonferroni correction was conducted to determine whether any specific AQ symptom domains were related to the SRS.

Results: The first analysis indicated a significant correlation between SRS and AQ scores (r=.61, p=.00). The second analysis revealed that the social domain was the only AQ domain found to be significantly related to the SRS (r=.63, p=.00).

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that the AQ-Social domain is measuring the same construct as the SRS, supporting its validity.  More importantly, this study provides evidence for concurrent validity of the AQ with the SRS, an already well-validated screening tool for autism.

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