Measuring autism traits in a well-defined sample
McDonough, Jaimi Donald
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As autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are being increasingly conceptualized as occurring along a continuum of severity in the general population, empirical investigations of quantitative measures that account for the continuous nature of these traits are warranted. The purpose of the present study was to extend the validity evidence for the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a quantitative measure of ASD symptom severity. The factorial and convergent validity of this measure was assessed based on parent and teacher responses to SRS items regarding the behaviors of a nationwide sample of 2,648 autistic probands. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the one-factor model provided the best fit for SRS Parent and Teacher Report data. This finding supports previous exploratory factor analyses conducted with smaller samples of SRS data. Small to moderate correlations between SRS Total and Subscale Scores and ADOS Total and Domain Scores were observed for the current study. Correlations between SRS Parent and Teacher Report Total and Subscale Scores indicated a low to moderate relationship between ratings. Discussion of these findings is presented with respect to ASD diagnosis and treatment.