The construction and validation of an abridged version of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ-Short)

Hoekstra, Rosa A.; Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E.; Wheelwright, Sally; Bartels, Meike; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Posthuma, Danielle and van der Sluis, Sophie (2011). The construction and validation of an abridged version of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ-Short). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(5) pp. 589–596.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-010-1073-0

Abstract

This study reports on the development and validation of an abridged version of the 50-item Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report measure of autistic traits. We aimed to reduce the number of items whilst retaining high validity and a meaningful factor structure. The item reduction procedure was performed on data from 1,263 Dutch students and general population adults. The resulting 28-item AQ-Short was subsequently validated in 3 independent samples, both clinical and controls, from the Netherlands and the UK. The AQ-Short comprises two higher-order factors assessing ‘social behavioral difficulties’ and ‘a fascination for numbers/patterns’. The clear factor structure of the AQ-Short and its high sensitivity and specificity make the AQ-Short a useful alternative to the full 50-item version.

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