Limited studies have investigated the latent autistic traits in the mainland Chinese population for autism spectrum conditions (ASC). This study explored the psychometric properties of a Mandarin Chinese version of the CAST in a sample consisting of 737 children in mainstream schools and 50 autistic cases. A combination of categorical data factor analysis and item response theory suggested a good-fit model of a two-factor solution for 28 items on the Mandarin CAST including social and communication, and inflexible/stereotyped language and behaviours (Goodness-of-fit indices: RMSEA = 0.029, CFI = 0.957, TLI = 0.950, SRMR = 0.064). The correlation between the two factors was moderate (GFC = 0.425). This study provided evidence for the CAST as a multidimensional measure for ASC screening in a Chinese population and also showed that the symptom manifestation of ASC in Chinese children shares similarity with western populations.
- autism spectrum conditions
- categorical data factor analysis
- item response theory