Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the children's empathy quotient and systemizing quotient: 4–12 years

Xin Wang, Mei Xia Dai, Aja Murray, Si Yu Liu, Jia Jie Chen, Li Zi Lin, Jin Jing*, Bonnie Auyeung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We aimed to validate the Children's Empathy Quotient (EQ-C) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ-C) in Mainland China, which can reflect the profiles of empathizing and systemizing, and describing specific characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and gender-typical behaviors in general population. A total of 800 typically developing (TD) children, aged 4–12 years was recruited initially with whose parents/guardians complete the measurements, and 782 TD children who met inclusion criteria were finally included. A 23-item three-factor EQ-C and a 22-item four-factor SQ-C was developed with good internal consistency (Omega total values of 0.87 and 0.86) and test–retest reliability (Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.82 and 0.69). In TD children, girls scored significantly higher on EQ-C (31.4 ± 7.8 vs. 28.2 ± 7.7) but there were no gender differences in SQ-C scores. TD children showed different cognitive styles (empathizing-dominant for girls with 42.6% identified as Type E; systemizing-dominant for boys with 40.7% identified as Type S). A further sample of 222 children with ASD indicated that they scored lower on EQ/SQ-C compared to TD children (13.2 ± 5.1 vs. 29.7 ± 7.9, 12.4 ± 5.8 vs. 23.5 ± 8.3) and were generally systemizing-dominant (Type S: 50.8% for boys and 64.0% for girls). Autistic children scored higher on the SQ-C in those without intellectual disability and with higher paternal education level and family income (14.2 ± 6.1 vs. 10.9 ± 5.0, 13.3 ± 6.2 vs. 11.5 ± 5.1, 13.7 ± 5.6 vs. 11.9 ± 5.8), while there were no differences in the EQ-C. This study indicated good reliability and validity of the Chinese version of EQ/SQ-C, which can be used in Chinese children with and without ASD. Lay Summary: We developed the Chinese version of the Children's Empathy Quotient (EQ-C) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ-C) in 782 typically developing (TD) children aged 4–12 years in Mainland China, yielding a 23-item, 3-factor EQ-C and a 22-item, 4-factor SQ-C with good psychometric properties. In TD children, we found gender difference only in scores of EQ-C. Further analyses of 222 autistic children indicated that differences were found in scores of SQ-C when considering their gender, intelligence and socio-economic status.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism Research
Early online date25 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • children
  • empathy quotient
  • gender differences
  • systemizing quotient


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the children's empathy quotient and systemizing quotient: 4–12 years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this