Do the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and Autism Spectrum Quotientsahort form (AQ-S) primarily reflect general ASD traits or specific ASD traits? A bi-factor analysis

Aja Louise Murray, Karen McKenzie, Renate Kuenssberg, Tom Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the current study, we fit confirmatory bi-factor models to the items of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and Autism Spectrum Quotient Short Form (AQ-S) in order to assess the extents to which the items of each reflect general versus specific factors. The models were fit in a combined sample of individuals with and without a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Results indicated that, with the exception of the Attention to Details factor in the AQ and the Numbers/Patterns factors in the AQ-S, items primarily reflected a general factor. This suggests that when attempting to estimate an association between a specific symptom measured by the AQ or AQ-S and some criterion, associations will be confounded by the general factor. To resolve this, we recommend using a bi-factor measurement model or factor scores from a bi-factor measurement whenever hypotheses about specific symptoms are being assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-457
JournalAssessment
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • bi-factor
  • autism spectrum quotient
  • psychometric
  • confounding

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